The MBTA’s fiscal and structural problems are so severe and pervasive that marginal reforms will no longer suffice. The MBTA has reached the end of its line and needs a comprehensive rescue plan before there is any discussion of new revenue.
(Governor) Baker said he found the MTF report "compelling." "It raised some really serious issues about not just the history of the T but also the future of the T, and I think anybody really interested in the future of that organization should read that report and recognize that it was done by an organization that has a lot of credibility," Baker said(Matt Murphy/SHNS).
In December, Patrick's secretary of administration and finance, Glen Shor, disputed an analysis by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation alleging a deficit significantly larger than the $329 million problem flagged by Patrick's team right after the November elections.
But the additional revenue does not mean budget writers will have an easy job. Andrew Bagley, director of research and public affairs for the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, warned that increases in spending for Medicaid, pensions and retiree health care, along with spending for debt owed through the MBTA and School Building Authority "will consume most, if not all, of the $1.1 billion in new tax revenues."
Baker said he expects the deficit, while pegged at roughly $330 million by the Patrick administration, to be “certainly north of $500 million.” Other analysts, including the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, have estimated it could go as high as $750 million.