Watchdog: Massachusetts could face $1.5B budget shortfall

(AP Photo/Steven Senne) Copyright 2015, The Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — A taxpayers watchdog groups says Massachusetts’ budget shortfall could be as high as $1.5 billion, nearly twice what the administration is estimating.

The president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation told organizations that rely on state funding to “Brace yourselves for a new reality.”

The foundation’s projected shortfall assumes funding for programs considered discretionary, from public safety to aid to municipalities, stays level.

Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration has projected a $768 million shortfall. Earlier this month he outlined more than $500 million in spending cuts to help close the gap. Has said he will not raise taxes.

Kristen Lepore, Baker’s budget chief, tells The Boston Globe that state spending is growing at almost twice the rate of tax revenue, which she calls “unsustainable.”

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Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.bostonglobe.com

 

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