Taxes and Budget Issues

Charter school funding formula is broken

Charter school funding formula is broken

The current system is wreaking havoc with municipal finances

ONE DOESN’T HAVE to choose sides in the long debate over charter schools in order to raise legitimate questions about the approach being taken in Massachusetts. I count myself among those who have adopted a nuanced view—one that is philosophically supportive of a range of ambitious K-12 education reforms, including charters, but that also recognizes(...)

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Creative accounting on Beacon Hill

Creative accounting on Beacon Hill

Lawmakers warm to the idea of private funding for police, fire training

BRIAN KEYES, the police chief in Chelsea, sounds like a mountain climber with the summit finally in sight. He and his fellow chiefs have been scaling Beacon Hill for almost a decade looking for a way to fund police training programs that wouldn’t require them to go hat in hand to the Legislature each and(...)

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It’s time for another McDuffy case

It’s time for another McDuffy case

State needs to address inequality in education

WHEN THE PUBLIC SEEKS to improve the educational outcomes for students, we tend to misdirect our frustration towards teachers unions, low-performing district schools, and/or the existence of charter schools. The problem, however, is much larger than any one school. In reality, cash-strapped urban districts and Gateway Cities across Massachusetts are not getting their fair share of(...)

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Ruling on milllionaire tax right one constitutionally

Ruling on milllionaire tax right one constitutionally

Another victory for an independent judiciary

AS A PLAINTIFF in the lawsuit Anderson v. Attorney General, I applaud the court’s decision, although I don’t consider myself or the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, the organization that I represent, the winner.  The real winner is our democracy. Despite all the rhetoric, the underlying public policy question about whether the Commonwealth should introduce a marginal(...)

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State’s first pot store to open in Leicester

State’s first pot store to open in Leicester

Retail outlet likely to open after Labor Day

THE STATE’S CANNABIS Control Commission on Monday awarded its first license for a retail recreational pot store to a medical marijuana facility in Leicester, where sales will probably start sometime in September. The board unanimously approved the provisional license for Cultivate Holdings to add retail pot to the medical marijuana the company sells at the(...)

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Baker signs ‘grand bargain’ bill

Baker signs ‘grand bargain’ bill

Measure includes new payroll tax for family, medical leave

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE GOV. CHARLIE BAKER signed a new law Thursday that could affect virtually every resident of Massachusetts, a week after lawmakers settled months of negotiations over proposed ballot questions that could have had dramatic consequences for the state’s finances and economy. Legislators scrambled to assemble the so-called grand bargain bill after interest(...)

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Senate gives special treatment to Airbnb

Senate gives special treatment to Airbnb

House bill gets it right on regulating short-term rentals like lodging

REAL ESTATE INVESTORS are increasingly reshaping local residential neighborhoods by acquiring homes and apartments and converting them into full-time tourist lodging as “short-term rentals.” What began about a decade ago with a few homeowners offering an occasional room for rent is now a hot investment trend—producing record earnings for absentee owners, but also threatening housing(...)

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The end of recycling?

The end of recycling?

Cutting curbside collections will overload landfills, create environmental crisis

CURBSIDE RECYCLING PROGRAMS are disappearing in Massachusetts. Our Commonwealth has made the absurd decision to dump thousands of tons of recyclable materials into landfills. Recycling infrastructure is approaching its breaking point, and the slow response from our public leaders is due to a conspicuous lack of resources to prevent this crisis. Indications of this systemic(...)

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How to solve homelessness

How to solve homelessness

Solutions abound; they just need money

TONIGHT, 6,300 MEN and women across the Commonwealth will sleep on the streets or in shelter. Although that statistic may be disheartening, this does not have to be the case. Homeless services providers across the state do not lack for solutions to end homelessness – we lack the necessary resources. Additional funding would allow providers(...)

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City council puts restraints on Airbnb

City council puts restraints on Airbnb

Industry slams measure for cutting commercial units, rental caps

THE BOSTON CITY COUNCIL overwhelmingly approved tough new restrictions on short-term rentals offered by companies such as Airbnb and HomeAway, eliminating investor-owned units from the marketplace while allowing owner-occupied, two- and three-family homeowners to rent out some of their units year-round. The council on Wednesday made some minor adjustments to a proposal by Mayor Marty(...)

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