Publications: Public Finance

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  • April 7 2011

    To supplement our report on retiree health care liabilities, the Foundation is in the process of collecting such data for all cities and towns in Massachusetts. This spreadsheet includes new data from 50 additional municipalities, along with updated data for some of the largest 50 municipalities. This spreadsheet will be updated regularly.

  • April 5 2011

    Municipal employee health care plans in Massachusetts are far more costly and generous than other employer-sponsored plans in the Commonwealth, according to Municipal Health Plans: Gilded Benefits from a Bygone Era, a new report released today by The Boston Foundation and the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. This report is the first to compare specific health care plans from 14 diverse communities with plans offered to state, federal, and private sector employees in Massachusetts.

  • February 15 2011

    The 50 largest cities and towns in Massachusetts face a crushing $20 billion liability for retiree health care benefits that threatens to wreak havoc with local government services, according to a new report released today by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

    The report, Retiree Health Care: The Brick That Broke Municipalities’ Backs, is the first analysis of municipal retiree health care liabilities in Massachusetts. The $20 billion represents what these governments must pay in today’s dollars for the lifetime health care benefits already earned by 150,000 current employees and retirees in the 50 communities.

  • December 16 2010

    Municipalities weathered one of their most difficult years in the Proposition 2 ½ era in fiscal 2010, highlighting the urgency of controlling municipal health insurance costs. Driven by cuts in local aid and declines in local receipts and new construction, total municipal spending and revenues grew by a minuscule 0.1 percent in fiscal 2010.

  • December 14 2010

    Fiscal 2012 tax revenues will grow by $923 million or 4.7 percent to reach a total of $20.56 billion, according to a new forecast released today by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. The Foundation projects tax collections of $19.63 billion in fiscal 2011, an increase of $554 million over the current consensus forecast, and approximately $1.1 billion or 5.9 percent over tax collections in 2010.

    “Despite almost a billion dollars in revenue growth, the state faces a fiscal 2012 shortfall of approximately $2 billion with no federal stimulus dollars and limited state reserves,” Mr. Widmer said. “The 2012 budget will require yet another round of cuts in local aid, human services, higher education, and almost all other state programs.”

  • October 21 2010

    In order to try to minimize the enormous consequences of Question 3, the proponents argue incorrectly that total state spending is $52 billion when the correct number is approximately $32 billion, as shown on page 137 of the 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

  • September 22 2010

    Voter approval of Question 3 would result in across-the-board cuts of approximately 30 percent in virtually all state programs, including local aid, higher education, human services, prisons, courts, environmental protection, and state parks and beaches, according to a report released today by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

    The report concludes that state leaders would face a $4.5 billion shortfall in the fiscal 2012 budget - an already existing structural deficit of at least $2 billion plus $2.5 billion of reduced tax revenues by cutting the sales tax from 6.25 percent to 3 percent.

  • September 16 2010
    In a presentation to business and government leaders, MTF President Michael Widmer described the $2 to $2.5 billion budget gap facing the state in 2012, which will likely turn out to be the most difficult year of the state's extended fiscal crisis. Compounding this predicament, should voters approve the ballot question to cut the sales tax from 6.25 to 3 percent, the state would lose $2.5 billion in revenues raising the 2012 shortfall to nearly $5 billion.
  • August 18 2010
    The Foundation calls on legislators and candidates to address the unsustainable increase in municipal costs of health care and pensions that are leading to layoffs of teachers, police and firefighters and recommends a series of changes that would save hundreds of millions of dollars annually in the short term growing to billions by 2020.