Taxes and Budget Issues

A new Quincy

A new Quincy

Building boom looks to move city beyond its past without leaving it behind

QUINCY MAYOR THOMAS KOCH calls the MBTA’s Red Line the “spine” of his aging city. With four stops in North Quincy, Wollaston, Quincy Center, and Quincy Adams, the T’s Red Line allows residents to move around the city and connect with Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville to the north. These transit connections have long been the(...)

Read More »

A look at one of the Legislature’s veto overrides

A look at one of the Legislature’s veto overrides

Lawmakers restore earmarks for all sorts of local projects

THE LEGISLATURE SWIFTLY OVERRODE many of the governor’s budget vetoes on Monday, including one whose elimination has become almost an annual rite of passage on Beacon Hill. Baker on Thursday vetoed nearly $4 million in legislative earmarks included in a line item for the Department of Fire Services, an agency in charge of training firefighters(...)

Read More »

Taxes on short-term rentals could hit 17.5%

Taxes on short-term rentals could hit 17.5%

New taxes expected to take effect in January 2019

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE SHORT-TERM HOUSING UNITS rented through websites like Airbnb could be taxed at almost 17.5 percent in cities like Boston and Massachusetts would become the first state in the country to maintain a central registry under compromise legislation agreed to Sunday night by House and Senate negotiators. State officials have been trying(...)

Read More »

Sanchez, Spilka drop immigration issue from budget

Sanchez, Spilka drop immigration issue from budget

DeLeo: 'There's really been no consensus in the House'

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE THE INABILITY OF HOUSE AND SENATE budget negotiators to reach a consensus over immigration law enforcement doomed a budget measure that would have restricted local police from acting as immigration agents, the House’s lead negotiator said. The negotiator, Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez of Jamaica Plain, and his counterpart in the Senate, Karen(...)

Read More »

Lawmakers going off-the-books for police training

Lawmakers going off-the-books for police training

$2 fee on rental cars follows pattern of fire training

THE LEGISLATURE APPEARS POISED to shift the cost of municipal police training on to people renting cars in Massachusetts, adopting a funding philosophy for law enforcement that was pioneered decades ago for firefighters and which some believe has spiraled out of control. The Senate and House moved on Wednesday to pass legislation assessing a $2(...)

Read More »

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(...)

Read More »

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(...)

Read More »

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(...)

Read More »

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(...)

Read More »

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(...)

Read More »