In The News

Income inequality impacting state tax revenues

Sep 15 2014

By Tiffany Chan, WWLP

The President of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation argues that it would only target the upper-class. “I think the proponents, many of them of the graduated income tax really want to be able to raise taxes on the higher income people without having to raise taxes on everybody,” said President Michael Widmer.
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New study suggests overhauling state personal income tax could help with revenue

Sep 15 2014

By Philip Marcelo, AP / The Republic

Michael Widmer, a member of the Tax Fairness Commission who opposed the recommendation, says such an overhaul would only compound income inequality by discouraging business investment. The president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-backed research group, he suggested more "modest" changes to the tax code, such as raising the value of certain tax exemptions for individuals and married couples. "That goes directly to the spending power of that person on the lower end that's living in a high cost state and trying to make ends meet," Widmer said.
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WEEKLY ROUNDUP - FIRE AWAY

Aug 31 2014

By Andy Metzger, Cape Cod Today / State House news Service

News of the state's ongoing negotiations to secure a five-year federal waiver was less forthcoming. The waiver dates back to 1997, undergirds Massachusetts efforts at providing universal health care and health care cost control, and represents the biggest fiscal risk in the near future, according to Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer. The current, short-term waiver expires Sept. 12. The Patrick administration is mum about what's up for discussion, but experts told the News Service that urban hospital funding, the length of the waiver, and cost-sharing issues are likely fueling the talks.
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Meals tax has generated $357M in state revenue

Aug 31 2014

By Gerry Tuoti and Marc Larocque, Taunton Daily Gazette

Carolyn Ryan, assistant director of policy and research at the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said that while local meals tax revenue typically makes up a small percentage of local budgets, it can be important.
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Meals tax brings $650,000 to Norwood

Aug 11 2014

By Gerry Tuoti, Norwood transcript

Carolyn Ryan, assistant director of policy and research at the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said that while local meals tax revenue typically makes up a small percentage of local budgets, it can be important.
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Meals tax a boon for towns

Aug 11 2014

By Gerry Tuoti, MetroWest Daily News

Carolyn Ryan, assistant director of policy and research at the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said that while local meals tax revenue typically makes up a small percentage of local budgets, it can be useful. "It has been an important factor in recession and recovery when it filled in cuts to state aid," she said. "And if a city or town is bumping against property tax limits, it’s an important source of additional revenue to them."
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Brockton, towns cash in on meals tax

Aug 5 2014

By Ed Donga, The Enterprise

Carolyn Ryan, assistant director of policy and research at the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said that while local meals tax revenue typically makes up a small percentage of local budgets, it can still be important. “It has been an important factor in the recession and recovery when it filled in cuts to state aid,” she said. “And if a city or town is bumping against property tax limits, it’s an important source of additional revenue to them.”
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Sales tax holiday forces a reality check

Aug 3 2014

By Alli Knothe, Telegram & Gazette

"The impact on the budget is really marginal at best," said Andrew Bagley, director of research and public affairs for the Boston-based Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. He said it is difficult to argue against something viewed favorably by both businesses and consumers.

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Voters would pay for road fixes — close to home

Jul 24 2014

By Martine Powers, The Boston Globe

Andrew C. Bagley, director of research and public affairs at the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said it’s natural for voters to care most about the roads and bridges they see every day — especially, he added, when they fear that they have become so outdated they are dangerous. “People understand the importance of transportation infrastructure,” Bagley said. “Particularly, they’re thinking about their concerns over safety as they begin to appreciate how much of our infrastructure is obsolete or substandard.”
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Convention center director leaves no loose ends

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Jul 14 2014

By Casey Ross, The Boston Globe

When he was reviewing the expansion plans, Michael Widmer, head of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said he was less concerned about the city’s role in the world than the project’s benefit to the local economy. Even today, he said, he is unsure of what that return will be. The project seems to be a sensible investment, Widmer said. “He’s made a persuasive argument,” he said. “But how many additional conventions will we get? The truth is we don’t know. Jim Rooney doesn’t know. Nobody knows. Whether this will pay for itself in some reasonable way, we’ll know that in another 10 years.”

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