Group Sees $1.5B Gap In Coming Mass. Budget Year
Working off a state budget year that relied on one-time revenues and needed spending cuts to achieve balance, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation estimates a $1.5 billion budget gap for fiscal 2016, which begins July 1.
This year's $36.5 billion state budget featured tax amnesty programs, revenues derived from a state building lease, and spent tax dollars that had been earmarked for reserves.
Midway into fiscal year 2015, former Gov. Deval Patrick and then Gov. Charlie Baker and the Legislature cut spending and took other actions to deal with what amounted to a roughly $1 billion gap in the budget.
Baker's first budget is due in a week, on March 4, and a spokesman for Secretary of Administration and Finance Kristen Lepore said MTF's analysis of the shortfall is "in the ballpark."
The Baker administration does not plan to draw from state reserves to balance next year's budget, said spokesman Brendan Moss.
Governors and legislative leaders over the years have often failed to produce structurally balanced budgets, often leaning on one-time measures to support spending from year to year.
This article was originally published on February 25, 2015.