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Expert: Unlikely Economy Will Grow Enough To Close $2B Shortfall

BOSTON — As 2010 draws to a close, Massachusetts is opening the books to start forecasting a budget for the next fiscal year.

On the eve of the state’s annual revenue hearing, legislative leaders projected a shortfall of up to $2 billion, even though tax revenues are on the rise.

Some of the state’s top economists will share their views at Tuesday’s State House gathering. Among them: Mike Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. Widmer joined WBUR’s Bob Oakes during Tuesday’s Morning Edition to give a preview of the stark budget message he’ll take to Beacon Hill.

“The reality is this year’s fiscal 2011 includes more than $2 billion of one-time money, mostly stimulus dollars,” Widmer said. “We will not have any one-time money to speak of for the fiscal 2012 budget. So we don’t expect — nobody expects– that the economy will grow at anything close to the rate to close that huge $2 billion hole for fiscal 2012.”

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