- 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.
- January 18 2011
The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation supports the pension reform proposals advanced today by Governor Patrick with Senate President Murray, House Speaker DeLeo and Treasurer-elect Grossman.
- 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 24 2010
At a recent forum of the Senate Presidents, MTF President Michael Widmer was one of two national experts participating on a panel on the pension crisis facing most states. Mr. Widmer summarized the factors placing financial pressures on pension plans, the key variables determining long-term costs, and the overriding issues facing state legislative leaders in controlling those costs.
- 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.