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Dire economic picture sketched in series of reports

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Apr 2 2020

By Colin Young, State House News Service / The Herald News

“Simply stated, COVID-19 is a Cat 5 hurricane hitting global economies simultaneously,” MTF wrote in its analysis. “The initial impacts are staggering -- to people and families, first responders, health care professionals, employers and employees, and the world’s economy. The scale and duration of the pandemic are as yet unknown.”
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State revenue shortfall could reach $3 billion

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Mar 30 2020

By Shira Schoenberg, Commonwealth Magazine

The analysis by the center is similar to a report released March 17 by the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. The foundation analysis estimated a lower revenue falloff — $300 million to $500 million – in the current fiscal year. But it estimated a similar impact — $2 billion to $3 billion — for fiscal 2021.
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Delayed Tax Day Forces Beacon Hill Into Emergency Budget Hole

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Mar 30 2020

By Mike Deehan, WGBH

"The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health emergency that is causing a public finance emergency in Massachusetts," said a new analysis of the state's fiscal outlook by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation published Monday. The analysis found that $3.6 billion of the estimated $30.3 billion the state expected to collect on or before the traditional April 15 deadline will be delayed, forcing lawmakers and the governor to either slash spending during a public health crisis, drain all of the $3.5 billion 'rainy day fund' or leverage the state's credit to borrow its way out of the hole for the time being.
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Coronavirus could cause Mass. lawmakers to rethink the state budget

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Mar 12 2020

By Jon Chesto, The Boston Globe

The margin for error already seemed slim: The business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation issued a report on Wednesday highlighting several uncertain aspects of Governor Charlie Baker’s spending plan for the next fiscal year. MTF said Baker’s plans to accelerate sales tax collections ($237 million in the budget), legalize sports betting ($35 million), and to impose high-cost drug penalties ($19 million) are just three of the items that remain up in the air, awaiting the Legislature’s approval.
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A role for employers in battling opioid scourge

Jan 22 2020

By Jon Chesto, The Boston Globe

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation is best known for the critical eye it casts on state finances. But the business-backed group is also using its data-crunching for another purpose: curbing opioid abuse. President Eileen McAnneny is spearheading an initiative called Mass. CARES in which participating employers agree to take at least four specific actions over the course of the year to become more “recovery friendly.”
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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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Rockland Trust among companies pledging to be recovery friendly

Jan 15 2020

By Katie Lannan, State House News Service / Wicked Local

Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Eileen McAnneny said addressing the opioid epidemic is an “economic imperative,” and that MTF is hoping to draw as many employers as possible into the effort. Initial participants include John Hancock, KPMG, Liberty Mutual, PwC, Bank of America, Rockland Trust and EY, among others.
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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 launch effort to help employees struggling with opioids

Jan 14 2020

By Jessica Bartlett, Boston Business Journal

Massachusetts businesses have launched a year-long initiative to address the opioid crisis, forming a new coalition to reduce stigma and increase access to treatment.
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