In The News: Budget

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Study: Overhaul to cost Mass. taxpayers $7.5B

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Jan 12 2018

By Michael Norton, State House News Service / Sentinel & Enterprise

"For a lot of people in Massachusetts, they are going to feel the effect of the cap," Eileen McAnneny, foundation president, told the News Service. "People with higher incomes tend to deduct and itemize at a greater percentage than folks with more modest incomes. They will be seeing certainly an increase in their income tax and property tax burden because they will be able to deduct less at the federal level."
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MTF SEES POSSIBLE BOOST IN FISCAL 2018 REVENUE ESTIMATE

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Jan 8 2018

By Michael Norton, State House News Service

"The revenue challenges of these ballot questions are compounded by problematic timing," according to MTF. "The fact that these questions will not be voted on until November -- more than four months after the FY 2019 budget is finalized, makes planning for them especially difficult."
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Chandler ‘delighted,’ but not involved in release of earmarks

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Jan 4 2018

State House News Service / The Worcester Telegram

There are more than 600 earmarks in the budget, totaling $121 million in spending, according to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. Chandler said she met with the governor a “couple of weeks ago,” saying only that they talked about “things in general, basically. Just pleasantries.”
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Business group calling for review of tax code

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Jan 3 2018

By Andy Metzger, State House News Service / Sentinel & Enterprise

"This is just one more reason why Massachusetts might consider doing a comprehensive review of its tax code," Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Eileen McAnneny told the News Service on Tuesday. She said, "It absolutely has to be an academic exercise, not a political one."
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Over 2,000 students from Puerto Rico now in Massachusetts schools following Hurricane Maria

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Dec 19 2017

By Katie Lannan, State House News Service / MassLive

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation said in a midyear budget update that it's unknown how many Puerto Rican families are staying with friends and relatives here after Hurricane Maria landed a devastating blow on the island. Some school districts "already dealing with an unexpected influx of students related to the disaster," the foundation said.
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Present calm on Massachusetts budget front may be short lived

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Dec 18 2017

By Michael Norton, State House News Service / The Worcester Telegram

The business-backed MTF, over the years, has become known for its sobering assessments of budget conditions that elected officials often portray in mostly positive terms. Its assessment of the $39.4 billion fiscal 2018 budget sticks to that theme, outlining issues to watch for in the coming months.
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Gloomy outlook for state finances

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Dec 14 2017

By Jon Chesto, The Boston Globe

You can’t blame Eileen McAnneny, MTF’s president, for being a spoilsport. The GOP tax cuts could total $1.5 trillion over 10 years. It’s a no-brainer, McAnneny says, that Massachusetts will receive less from D.C. going forward as a result. (Federal funds support more than a quarter of the state’s budget.) The fact we have an all-Democratic delegation doesn’t help. MTF’s bottom line: Lawmakers should hope for the best and prepare for the worst, by setting aside $500 million in the state’s rainy day fund. Tax cuts could be good for business. But they don’t come cheap.
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Officials say state revenues improving

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Dec 6 2017

By Bob Salsberg, AP / The Daily Hampshire Gazette

“Forecasting state tax revenues 18 months into the future is always risky as unforeseen events often undermine predictions as the past three years have shown,” the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation said in a statement. The nonpartisan fiscal research group offered a more conservative estimate of 2.8 percent growth in state tax collections next year.
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Mass. lawmakers again try to gauge revenues

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Dec 6 2017

By Colin Young, State House News Service / The Berkshire Eagle

"Predicting revenues in FY 2019 is more daunting than usual because there are several upcoming events over the next 12 months, any one of which will have major impacts on state tax revenues, but those impacts are unknowable right now," MTF wrote in its forecast. "Taken together, these events could dramatically alter the state's fiscal health." MTF said federal tax legislation could have "a major impact" on the state's finances, but said that three possible 2018 ballot questions — imposing a 4 percent surtax on income greater than $1 million, reducing the sales tax rate from 6.25 percent to 5 percent, and a paid family and medical leave initiative -- "could make irrelevant the forecasts presented at today's hearing."

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Potential tax law changes muddy budget picture

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Dec 6 2017

By Katie Lannan, State House News Service / WCVB

"But whenever it comes in, it is one-time revenue, and we're suggesting that that money go into the stabilization fund," McAnneny told the committees. "We think this is really important for two reasons. One, there is a statutory requirement that excess capital gains be deposited into the stabilization fund, but also I think because there is a very atypical and perhaps unprecedented amount of uncertainty regarding other tax revenues." With the pending federal tax legislation and a trio of potential ballot questions that could shake up the state's finances -- a sales tax reduction, a surtax on incomes over $1 million, and a paid family and medical leave program -- MTF recommended that the state deposit at least $500 million from this year's and next year's revenues into the rainy day fund.

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