Worse, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation says the budget gap could rise still more – $500 to 600 million more – by July. Local aid to cities and town would take a devastating $25.5 hit which would likely require cuts to police and fire, snow removal, and administrative resources.
Michael J. Widmer, president of the Taxpayers Foundation, who helped campaign against the repeal, said the vote could have serious long-term consequences for transportation funding that was given a boost last year.
Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation analyzed the impact of growing retiree health costs on nine of the 10 cities with the lowest per capita incomes. In North Adams, for example, retiree health care amounts to 22 percent of the city’s property tax levy, or $445 on the average annual tax bill in North Adams.
"The impact on the budget is really marginal at best," said Andrew Bagley, director of research and public affairs for the Boston-based Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. He said it is difficult to argue against something viewed favorably by both businesses and consumers.
When he was reviewing the expansion plans, Michael Widmer, head of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said he was less concerned about the city’s role in the world than the project’s benefit to the local economy. Even today, he said, he is unsure of what that return will be. The project seems to be a sensible investment, Widmer said.
“There’s virtually no chance the Legislature gives him this authority,” said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, noting if Patrick were concerned about spending, he could have wielded more vetoes than the modest $16.1 million worth in this year’s $36.5 billion budget, which he signed yesterday.
“It’s a balanced, responsible budget,” said Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer. “It’s a tight budget reflecting a small recovery.”