Economy

Home wreckers

Home wreckers

A state program designed to help homeowners deal with contractors gives a false sense of protection.

Photographs by Mark Morelli FOR MOST HOMEOWNERS, their house is their past, present, and future, the hard shell around their nest egg. That shell requires regular attention and occasional investment, and that means hiring home improvement contractors to keep everything shipshape. For many homeowners, finding the right contractor is a process that can trigger a(...)

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Mom-and-pop economic development   

Mom-and-pop economic development  

Boosting unbanked immigrant entrepreneurs in Lawrence  

Photographs by Meghan Moore JOSE ROSARIO CAN barely walk a step without pointing to some of the changes he’s made since becoming the owner of Universal Auto Repair in Lawrence. There are the four new vehicle lifts; the diagnostic computers; the uniforms for his staff, complete with name tags; the fresh coat of interior paint;(...)

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Dump the millionaire tax

Dump the millionaire tax

Proposed constitutional amendment doesn’t accomplish its stated goals

FORTY-THREE STATES IN this country tax the income of their citizens in some form. Of the states that tax wages, only eight, including Massachusetts, use a single rate rather than a graduated rate. That century-old policy is the main reason why in 2018 the Commonwealth’s voters will likely face a ballot question seeking to impose a(...)

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Got robots?

Got robots?

Dairy farmers use technology to eke out a living

Sixth-generation family farmers Dave and Steve Barstow have stretched the limits of what dairy farmers can do to stay afloat. They opened a store and bakery on their dairy farm at the foot of Mt. Holyoke in Hadley. They generate electricity from composted cow manure and food scraps. They even market a line of farm(...)

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Contributing to debate

Contributing to debate

Public school debate teams give students more than just a good argument

Microphilanthropy is an occasional feature that calls attention to small acts of generosity that people do for the benefit of others and highlights little-known needs that could benefit from generosity, even on a small scale. IF YOU WENT to a high school with reasonable resources, there was almost certainly a debate team. It’s possible the(...)

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Jobless rates dropping all over MA

Jobless rates dropping all over MA

Of 10 metro areas in US with biggest declines, 7 from Bay State

NEW ECONOMIC DATA suggest the state’s labor market is nearing full capacity, which is translating into employment gains across the state and not just in metropolitan Boston. A group of Massachusetts economists released a MassBenchmarks report on Wednesday suggesting tight labor market conditions are likely to lead to worker shortages in some occupations and high(...)

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Highest and best use

Highest and best use

Baker touts development of surplus state property

ROBERT KENNEDY famously paraphrased George Bernard Shaw in a 1968 campaign speech when he said, “Some people see things as they are and say, why? I dream things that never were and say, why not?” Charlie Baker offered his own decidedly more prosaic version of that this afternoon. “Normally, people look at it and see(...)

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Baker, nervous about budget, cuts $98m

Baker, nervous about budget, cuts $98m

House, Senate officials say it was premature to act now

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE LURCHING FROM ONE BUDGET PROBLEM to another, Gov. Charlie Baker moved Tuesday to cut $98 million from the $39.25 billion state budget in an effort to match sluggish state revenues with likely spending, including accounts he says the Legislature underfunded. Baker slashed funding for health care, the State Police, municipal regionalization,(...)

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November tax collections down

November tax collections down

Revenue dip continues perplexing seesaw pattern

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE STATE REVENUE OFFICIALS collected $105 million less in taxes last month than they did in November 2015, contributing to a long-running up-and-down pattern that has flummoxed state budget writers and forced them to continually reopen and redraft state spending plans. The Department of Revenue on Friday afternoon, three days ahead of(...)

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Hedge fund could lose millions for campaign violation

Hedge fund could lose millions for campaign violation

Contribution to gubernatorial candidate violated “pay for play”

A $500 CAMPAIGN donation to a family friend running for Massachusetts governor could potentially cost a New York hedge fund millions of dollars in its management fees of investments from the state’s pension fund. Pershing Square Capital Management, run by activist investment billionaire William Ackman, faces the loss of two years of management fees because(...)

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