Publications: Public Finance

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  • 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.
  • August 16 2010
    In a newly released report, Maximizing the Value of Our Human Services Dollars, the Foundation makes two major recommendations: to streamline the administrative structure of the state's human services agencies; and to close ten antiquated and expensive institutions and move clients into community treatment. Both recommendations would save money while improving services for individuals and families. The link below is to the Executive Summary. The full report will be available shortly.
  • June 9 2010
    In a letter to conferees, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation urges legislators to reject the Senate proposal to address the issue of soaring municipal health care costs and take decisive action to provide municipal relief. Cities and towns should have unfettered powers over health plan design, consistent with the state, in order to protect municipal jobs and services.
  • June 6 2010
    The Senate recommends spending $31.4 billion, roughly $250 million less than the Governor in fiscal 2011 but $100 million more than the House, and does not rely on a draw from the state stabilization fund or increased taxes. However, with roughly $2 billion of one-time funds in the budget, the 2012 structural deficit will require substantial cuts in spending, even with an economic recovery.
  • March 24 2010
    MTF President Michael J. Widmer presented to the Boston Economic Club an update on state and local finances.
  • March 1 2010

    The Governor's reliance on more than $2 billion of one-time funds in his $31.7 billion fiscal 2011 budget will require major budget cuts in 2012. According to the Foundation's analysis, even if revenues grow by $1 billion in 2012, the state would still confront a $2.5 billion shortfall with virtually no state and federal reserves to help close the gap. In addition, should the voters this November approve a ballot initiative to reduce the state's sales tax from 6.25 to 3 percent, the state will face a $5 billion structural gap in fiscal 2012, as well as an immediate $1 billion revenue shortfall in fiscal 2011.

  • December 16 2009

    State tax revenues for fiscal 2011 will total $18.953 billion, a $674 million increase over the fiscal 2010 revised benchmark, according to a new forecast today by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

    MTF President Michael J. Widmer, who presented the forecast at the annual consensus revenue hearing, said, "Even with this revenue growth, the state faces an estimated $3 billion structural deficit in fiscal 2011."

  • December 10 2009
    Despite steps taken by the Governor and Legislature, the fiscal 2010 budget is $300 - $500 million out of balance. Because of the heavy reliance on one-time funds in 2010, the state faces a structural deficit of $3 billion in fiscal 2011, which will require spending reductions comparable to cuts in 2010 spending.