In The News: Public Finance

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Our view: When an override works

Mar 19 2019

The Sun Chronicle

Of late, though, overrides have become less popular statewide, according to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, which is, despite its folksy title, a group representing business interests. The association’s annual financial data report on municipal government found last year set a record for the fewest number of overrides. “The number of Proposition 2 ½ overrides has declined significantly in recent years,” the report states. “Twenty Proposition 2 ½ override votes occurred in (fiscal year) 2018, down from 26 in FY 2017.
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‘Millionaire tax’ amendment rises again at Statehouse

Feb 10 2019

By Bob Salsberg, AP / Boston Herald

“It’s a different process and I think they’re right,” said Eileen McAnnenny, president of Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “Because this is not a citizen’s petition the prohibitions don’t apply.”
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MTF: COLLECTIONS THROW UP "YELLOW LIGHT" ON SPENDING

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Feb 6 2019

By Michael Norton, State House News Service

Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Eileen McAnneny said Wednesday that with revenues trailing fiscal 2019 budget benchmarks by $400 million with five months left in the fiscal year, the state this year may be on track to make a smaller deposit into its rainy day fund than expected. That is because lower than expected capital gains tax revenues, which officials say may be underperforming, will automatically cut into an expected $489 million transfer.
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Baker’s budget proposal will include changes to education funding formula

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Jan 23 2019

By Matt Stout and Victoria McGrane, The Boston Globe

The proposal speaks to the importance and the urgency around climate change mitigation, said Eileen McAnneny, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. But that its champion is Baker, a Republican who has signed but generally not proposed tax hikes in the past, signals an approach to starting conversations about revenue “that we didn’t see in the first term, for sure,” she said. “It’s definitely new ground,” said McAnneny, who cautioned that there are several unresolved issues, including whether the tax raises sufficient revenue. And, she added: “Will the Legislature go along with it?”
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State payroll climbs to $7.2 billion last year

Jan 16 2019

By Matt Rocheleau, The Boston Globe

Eileen McAnneny, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said the spike in six-figure earners raised questions, as did the increases in overtime spending. "Having 24 workers make over $100K in overtime, and the bump in overtime costs more generally, suggests that the state may need to think of hiring additional workers to reduce the amount of overtime it is paying,” McAnneny said via e-mail.
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A recap and analysis of the week in state government

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Dec 13 2018

Market Screener

"While the time and severity of the next economic downturn is unknowable, by historic markers, we are on borrowed time," Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Eileen McAnneny told the House and Senate Ways and Means committees at this year's consensus revenue hearing. McAnneny was not alone in predicting an economic slowdown on the horizon as state budget-writers cautioned to keep spending spending in keep squirreling away cash in the rainy day fund.

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Big question for lawmakers: When will downturn come?

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Dec 6 2018

By Katie Lannan, State House News Service / CommonWealth Magazine

Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Eileen McAnneny, whose prepared testimony was titled “Are the Good Times Already Over?”, urged budget-writers to be cautious of “pre-recession warning signs” in labor markets, home sales, the auto industry, business investments and oil prices.
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Our view: Saving for a rainy day

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Dec 6 2018

Gloucester Daily Times

Eileen McAnneny, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said there are already “pre-recession warning signs” everywhere from labor markets to the oil industry. “By historic markers, we are on borrowed time,” she said.
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Massachusetts budget experts predict slow tax revenue growth in FY2020

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Dec 5 2018

By Shira Schoenberg, MassLive

The business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and the right-leaning Beacon Hill Institute both predicted slightly higher tax revenue growth of around 2.4 percent, representing total revenues in the range of $29.5 billion to $30.3 billion. Massachusetts has an aging workforce. The foundation also points to a number of "pre-recession warning signs," including slowdowns in the labor market, home sales and auto sales and declining oil prices.
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State's rainy day account rebounds

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Nov 14 2018

By Christian Wade, Gloucester Daily Times

"We have made tremendous progress, but we really need to have a bigger cushion," said Eileen McAnneny, president of the nonpartisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. The rainy day fund’s balance compared to the state's $41 billion operating budget — the most common metric of a reserve fund’s health — is about 4.9 percent, she said. It was about 7.7 percent in the fiscal year before the recession. "We clearly still have a way to go," McAnneny said. "The credit ratings agencies would prefer that we be closer to 10 percent."
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