In The News: FY 2017

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Mass. finishes fiscal year with $431M revenue shortfall

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Jul 24 2017

By Colin Young, State House News Service / Newburyport News

Baker’s vetoes stretched across 169 line items, with $202 million in vetoes associated with MassHealth reforms, according to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. He also vetoed $42 million in spending that lawmakers earmarked in an attempt to force appropriations for favored projects.
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Baker to raid trust funds to finalize last year’s budget

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Jul 8 2017

By Andy Metzger and Michael P. Norton, State House News Service / The Dedham Transcript

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation in June predicted that trust fund balances might be eyed to plug holes in the state budget. “About $200 million in trust fund sweeps were used to closeout FY 2016 and will likely be part of the approach to end FY 2017 in balance; however, because trust revenues have been relied upon so heavily in recent years it means that fewer are available for use in FY 2018,” the foundation reported.
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Revenue base eroding as annual budget talks ramp up

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May 12 2017

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

An official at the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation confirmed that if May and June revenues hit benchmarks, the state would need 5.77 percent growth in tax receipts to meet its target in fiscal 2018. Doug Howgate, director of policy and research for the business-backed group, said the last time the state exceeded that level of growth was in fiscal 2015 when tax revenues grew 7.8 percent.
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State falls short on tax revenue. Way short. Again.

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May 3 2017

By Joshua Miller, The Boston Globe

Eileen McAnneny, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said closing the gap “will be incredibly difficult to do with so little time left in the fiscal year” and given that policy makers have put tapping the state’s emergency, or rainy day, fund effectively off limits. She said the implications for the next fiscal year are equally problematic. That budget assumes an almost 4 percent growth in revenue, “an assumption that now appears increasingly unrealistic and makes it likely that lawmakers will once again need to strip hundreds of millions of dollars from the budget during negotiations.”
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Payments surge over first half of biggest collection month

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Apr 22 2017

By Michael Norton, State House News Service / The Lowell Sun

Doug Howgate, director of policy and research at the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, also cautioned against drawing conclusions based on mid-month data. "Certainly you'd rather be doing well than not doing well," he said.

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QUICK TAKE FROM A SMART PERSON ABOUT OUR $40 BILLION BUDGET

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Apr 5 2017

By Joshua Miller, The Boston Globe

Eileen McAnneny, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation: “Clearly, this is unnerving. Given the experience last year, the state needs to operate under the assumption that tax collections will fall short of expectations for the fiscal year and that shortfall will need to be actively managed.”
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Bleak state revenue report means December cuts may stand

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Mar 6 2017

By Matt Murphy and Katie Lannan, State House News Service / The Telegram

Calling it "pretty considerable" for February revenue collections to fall 9.1 percent below the monthly benchmark, Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Eileen McAnneny said the state needs to "pay close attention" to determine if the shortfall is an aberration or the start of a trend.
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House Speaker Robert DeLeo: Revisit Gov. Baker’s cuts in another month

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Feb 10 2017

By Colin A. Young and Antonio Caban, State House News Service / The Telegram

"I think it's probably premature to do anything to undo the solutions at this point," said Doug Howgate, director of policy and research at the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. Being 0.2 percent below benchmark for the year, Howgate said, is "not horrible" but revenues are "not doing a whole lot better" or worse than expected.
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Baker bites into earmarks with budget solve

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Dec 12 2016

By Andy Metzger, State House News Service / The Berkshire Eagle

The net savings from Baker's cuts to earmarks totaled $53 million because of revenue loss associated with some cuts, according to a Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation analysis.
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Not So Fast, Charlie: Amid "Outrage," DeLeo Seeks To Restore Funds Cut By Baker

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Dec 7 2016

By Mike Deehan, WGBH

"There were some accounts that we knew weren't fully funded when the budget was passed, which is pretty routine, but then some programs like MassHealth have exceeded the cost expectations," McAnneny said. "So it's kind of a trifecta of things that have come together." The foundation, she said, sides with Baker that cuts now, not later, are the way to proceed.
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