In The News: Transportation

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Report urges stepped-up push for transit reform

Mar 7 2013

By Michael Norton, State House News Service / The Glouscester Times

The report, prepared by transportation experts for the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, calls for implementation of basic systems governing agency performance, transparency and communication with the public, on-time project delivery, and asset and project information systems.
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Patrick's latest transportation plan leaves out income-tax hike

Feb 24 2013

By Andy Metzger, State House News Service / The Lowell Sun

"He took a broader approach, and I certainly understand that," Widmer said. He said, "I think the overarching question in these difficult and uncertain economic times is how much can we ask of the citizens in terms of additional taxes and in what form."
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Editorial: Taxpayers can’t afford Patrick’s plans

Jan 18 2013

Lawrence Eagle Tribune

“Clearly the changes make the state’s tax system more progressive, but it is a large increase to impose on those who make the decisions whether to invest in Massachusetts, especially in a fragile economic environment,” Michael Widmer, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, told the Associated Press.
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Tax hikes rumored to pay for Patrick's $13b transportation plan

Jan 14 2013

By Janet Wu, WCVB

The plan also is likely to include modest increases in tolls, fares and registry fees, but without a hike in the state income tax, it would difficult to raise an additional $1 billion a year, said Michael Widmer, of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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Gov. Deval Patrick weighs all-electronic tolls for Massachusetts Turnpike, abolishing jobs of toll collectors

Dec 10 2012

By Dan Ring, The Republican

Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said he supported all-electronic tolls. "It's a very positive step," Widmer said. "Other states have certainly done this. Given the technology, it's certainly timely for Massachusetts to take advantage of this opportunity."
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$240M state transportation shortfall means tough decisions

Dec 7 2012

By Chris Camire, Sentinel and Enterprise

"If you do transportation specific revenues, then some variation of the gas tax is really where one has to go, in terms of raising sufficient money to address the scope of the problem," said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. "My impression, from his public comments, is that the governor is leery of going back to the gas tax."
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Online sales tax – for transportation

Sep 28 2012

By Peter Howe, NECN

At the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, president Michael Widmer agrees with Grossman that “it is important that we find a way to tax online purchases. It's not fair that they're exempt from the sales tax.’’ But despite having helped lead a blue-ribbon transportation-funding-crisis panel in the 2000s that identified the $1 billion shortfall in what the state needs to be spending to maintain the road and transit networks, Widmer says it’s not a slam-dunk argument all the money should go to the priorities Grossman’s identified.

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Tax Breaks And Paybacks: TIFs Cost Communities, Yet Officials Embrace Long-Term Values

Sep 17 2012

By Emily Micucci, Worcester Business Journal

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, thinks cities and towns have generally awarded TIFs to worthwhile projects, but he said the projects raise an important question.
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State ready to release road repair allocations

Jul 15 2012

By Jennette Barnes, The Boston Globe

At the time, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation urged the Legislature to reduce funding for the bridge program, saying it borrowed from the future by moving up capital spending. But the watchdog group has no objection to the Chapter 90 funding, which is separate, because it is part of the capital budget, said Andrew Bagley, director of research and public affairs.
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Add interest, and Big Dig cost expected to top $24b

Jul 11 2012

By Eric Moskowitz, The Boston Globe

Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, called the numbers illuminating. “It’s certainly a positive step that the administration has laid out these costs with such clarity,” Widmer said. “It reinforces the fact that this was one ­incredibly expensive project” and remains one of the key reasons why the state’s gas taxes, highway tolls, transit fares, and other transportation revenues fall short of needs and force more borrowing, he said.
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