- August 6 2009The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation recently received a prestigious national award for its research and public education on the fiscal and economic impact of the November 2008 ballot question to repeal the state income tax. The Foundation was awarded a Certificate of Merit in the Most Effective Education category from the Governmental Research Association (GRA), the 13th such award received by the Foundation since 1996. The centerpiece of the Foundation's work was its October 2008 report, The Enormous Consequences of Question 1, which was widely cited in the media and public debates in opposition to the initiative, which voters ultimately rejected by a 70-30 margin. The Foundation's previous awards from the GRA have covered a wide array of topics including health care, business costs, capital spending, state finances, MBTA restructuring, and state government reform.
- July 23 2009Despite claims to the contrary, the Foundation's recently released analysis of the costs to taxpayers of achieving near-universal access to health care showed that the average yearly increase was only $88 million, well within original estimates. Because of health reform, employee-sponsored enrollment has grown by 150,000 and individuals private coverage by 40,000 adding at least $750 million in costs to Massachusetts employers. Critics ignore the fact that the fundamental problem is not the costs of Commonwealth Care but rather the unprecedented collapse of state tax revenues.
- May 2009
Despite a public perception that the state's landmark health care reform law has turned out to be unaffordable, a new analysis by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation finds that the cost to taxpayers of achieving near universal coverage has been relatively modest and well within initial projections of how much the state would have to spend to implement reform, in part because many of the newly insured have enrolled in employer-sponsored plans at no public expense.
The Foundation report concludes that state spending on the reform has increased by $350 million between fiscal 2006, the last year before reform, and fiscal 2010 - an average annual increase of only $88 million.
- April 2009
Following each state election, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation publishes the Massachusetts Legislative Directory, an invaluable guide to the State House. This booklet is designed to help you, the citizen, understand the legislative process and communicate with your elected officials.
- March 30 2009The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation unveiled a blueprint for the MBTA to save more than $1 billion in spending on health benefits over the next 20 years. The report, MTF Recommendations: Saving $1 Billion in Unaffordable Health Care Costs at the MBTA, makes six recommendations to bring MBTA health benefits into line with those provided state employees and which could be implemented by July 1, 2009.
- March 3 2009In collaboration with four other groups, the Foundation has put forward a comprehensive transportation reform and finance plan to address the long backlog of transportation investments critical to the Massachusetts economy. The plan encompasses the recommendations of the Transportation Finance Commission, on which the Foundation served, including changes to the MBTA's benefit structure that could save between $1 and $2 billion over the next 20 years. The proposed 25 cent increase in the gas tax would enable the Commonwealth to address the rapidly deteriorating roads and bridges in each section of the state, putting the regional transit authorities and the Western Turnpike, as well as the MBTA, on stronger financial footing, and provide some toll relief to those using the Metro Highway System.
- December 31 2008
The attached budget summary shows fiscal 2009 spending after the Governor's first round of "9C' cuts of $708 million and a savings of $100 million by extending from 2023 to 2025 the funding of the state's unfunded pension liabilities. With these reductions, fiscal 2009 spending increased by 1.6 percent over 2008.