In The News: Public Finance

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Massachusetts state pension, debt liability ‘at crisis level’

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Jan 16 2020

By Joe Dwinnel, The Boston Herald

“We’re talking about big increases and every year and the cost is expected to go up almost 10% a year,” said Heath Fahle, policy director for the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “Health care, local aid, public safety, MBTA and road projects all get squeezed a little by these rapidly growing pension payments,” said Fahle. “Credit rating agencies are noticing.” Fahle was the author of a report out earlier this week saying Massachusetts could be facing an $880 million budget gap next year due to slowing tax revenue and bills due — including pensions.
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State budget gap pegged at $900 million in new report

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Jan 15 2020

By Michael Norton, State House News Service / The Lowell Sun

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation on Wednesday predicted the upcoming budget cycle will differ significantly from the last two, during which tax receipts shattered projections and enabled the state to bulk up its cash reserves, pass one-time investments, and push the state budget up to $43.3 billion. “The presence of such a gap provides early warning that significant changes will be considered in order to balance the budget, such as tax increases or spending cuts,” the foundation concluded. “Stakeholders and opinion leaders should prepare to consider such actions as budget deliberations begin.”
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State faces $900 million budget gap, watchdog warns

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Jan 15 2020

By Matt Stout, The Boston Globe

The analysis by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation suggests that lawmakers may have to consider “tax increases or spending cuts” to balance the state’s $43 billion-plus budget. It would mark a stark reversal from recent years when officials’ primary money problem was jostling over ways to spend an unexpected windfall amid back-to-back years with a $1 billion surplus.
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Businesses owe more than $160 million in back taxes in Mass.

Nov 17 2019

By Mary Markos, Boston Herald / NH Union Leader

Eileen McAnneny, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and co-chair of the income tax subcommittee within a Senate Revenue Working Group charged with revamping the state’s tax code, said that members have discussed ways to ensure maximum adherence to existing laws. “We always want to make sure we’re collecting all of the revenue that is due to the commonwealth,” McAnneny said, “but it is important to keep this in perspective.”
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House uses FY19 surplus to shore up reserves and pad ed spending

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Oct 17 2019

By Colin A. Young and Chris Lisinski, State House News Service / MassLive

Wednesday's session did not unfold without tension. Rep. Maria Robinson filed an amendment that would have stripped a section of the bill that decouples Massachusetts from the federal tax code, citing a Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation analysis that the change could cause the state to forego up to $37 million in fiscal year 2020 revenue by allowing corporations to continue deducting interest.
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Businesses increasingly worry about an economic contraction in 2020

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Oct 8 2019

By Jon Chesto, The Boston Globe

Eileen McAnneny, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, says it’s not really surprising that employers are worrying more about the end to a decade-plus of economic expansion. But there are mixed signals, still: She points to the latest jobs numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that show the country’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest point in 50 years.
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Industry sets stage for film tax credit fight

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Sep 24 2019

By Andy Metzger, Commonwealth

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation is among the groups that hopes the film tax credit is in its final seasons, believing the funding could be better spent on “other priorities.” “We are opposed to the film tax credit. We’ve had long-standing opposition,” said Eileen McAnneny, president of the business-backed group. “Most of the money goes to firms outside of Massachusetts.”
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Late budget isn't a ‘governance weakness’

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Jul 10 2019

By Heath Fahle, CommonWealth Magazine

There should be no doubt that late budgets cause problems, though not the problems cited by Moody’s. For example, Moody’s worried that local governments would not receive monthly payments. The Commonwealth’s interim budget legislation is brief (less than 250 words), but it authorizes local aid payments explicitly. The state’s debt payments, another potential concern, are already fast-tracked by the state constitution and have little risk of going unpaid.
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Keller @ Large: What Encore Boston Harbor Opening Means For Tax Revenue

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Jun 23 2019

By Jon Keller, WBZ

BOSTON (CBS) – Eileen McAnneny, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, joined WBZ-TV political analyst Jon Keller this week on Keller @ Large to discuss the state of tax issues in the state.

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Will state’s bet on Encore casino pay off? We’re about to find out

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Jun 22 2019

By Joshua Miller, The Boston Globe

Casino revenue is “not a panacea,” said Eileen McAnneny, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a fiscal watchdog group. “Nor will it solve the Commonwealth’s long-term fiscal challenges by any stretch,” though it could help fund new or supplement existing services.

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