In The News

Prop 2½ waivers mostly waived off at polls

May 25 2014

By Donna Boynton, Telegram & Gazette

"This is more or less a permanent condition," Mr. Widmer said, noting only modest increases in local aid that compete with rising costs of employee benefits, pensions and health care costs that are burdening communities lead to the need for overrides. "I think this reflects a growing sentiment on the part of taxpayers that they expect their government to manage within the means available. I think taxpayers' patience with overrides and the support for them is waning."
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Retirement systems don’t add up

May 24 2014

By Barry Koslow, The Boston Herald

Here at home, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation reports that state and local governments in the Bay State have set aside only $63 billion — 43 percent — of the $146 billion needed to meet pension and health obligations for current and future retirees.
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Senate budget boosts funding for DCF

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May 14 2014

By Matt Murphy, State House New Service / Lowell Sun

"It's very close to the House. When you step back and look at these two budgets they're remarkably similar, one of the most similar budgets coming out of the House and Senate in all my time and the bottom line is very close," Widmer said, calling the approach a "reasonable" balance between spending increases and reducing the state's reliance on one-time money and reserves for budget balance.
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State Budget Would Allow Busing Reimbursement

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May 14 2014

By Sarah Birnbaum, WGBH

But classrooms in community colleges and some state universities would lose out, at least compared to UMASS, which would see a $500 million increase. Michael Widmer is with the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation: “That’s a concern I think in terms if that can be rectified in the debate on the senate floor and in the conference committee with the house. I think that would be a positive step.”
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A New Study Says Romneycare Has Saved Thousands Of Lives

May 7 2014

By Brett LoGiurato, AP / Yahoo Finance

According to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, the state spends about $91 million more each year on health costs compared to the years before the law was enactment
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Mass. pension plan ranks worst in US, study finds

May 1 2014

By Beth Healy, The Boston Globe

Carolyn Ryan, assistant director of policy and research at the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, who reviewed the report, said it makes sense to require a waiting period before people qualify for a pension. “The Urban Institute gives us a demerit for our 10-year investing requirement. We disagree with that,’’ Ryan said.
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Has IT come of age politically?

Apr 26 2014

By Noah Guiney, The Boston Globe

Certainly those concerned about the state’s business climate were glad to see the tech execs speak up about the tax. “It was the most damaging proposal I’ve seen in my career — and I don’t say that lightly,” says Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, the group that first flagged the tax in the budget.
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Lancaster selectman: OPEB costs add up to $3.6 million

Apr 24 2014

By Michael Hartwell, Sentinel & Enterprise News

He endorsed a February report from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation finding that municipalities in the commonwealth have an aggregate $30 billion in unfunded OPEB liabilities.
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Property taxes on the rise across Massachusetts

Apr 19 2014

By Gerry Tuoti, The Herald News

“I don’t think the bills are increasing at a pace that’s unusual compared to historic increases, but the expectation is communities are going to have fewer resources available and are trying to do more with less,” Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation policy analyst Carolyn Ryan said.
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Central Mass. lawmakers push for local projects in state budget

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Apr 17 2014

By John J. Monahan, Telegram & Gazette

Andrew Bagley, director of research for the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said many amendments for increased spending are likely to be adopted, although the House Ways and Means proposed budget would spend almost all of the 5 percent increase in state revenues expected during fiscal 2015. "The House Ways and Means budget has a little bit of wiggle room. I think they anticipate adding maybe $50 million to $75 million in spending from floor amendments, so I think the budget has some room for some of the amendments," said Mr. Bagley, whose organization tracks state spending.
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