Posts tagged "Budget"

Cooking the Budget: Bake Your Way to a Lower Grocery Bill

Take a bite out of your grocery bill and preserve the flavors of summer through winter with these simple recipes. South End Patch News

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 20, 2013 at 5:56 pm

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Boston Budget Approved: $937M for Schools, $196M for City Projects

By: David Ertischek The Boston City Council unanimously approved the city's $ 2.6 billion operating budget for fiscal year 2014 on Wednesday, the last budget to be submitted by outgoing Mayor Thomas Menino.  The budget includes $ 196 m South End Patch News

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 1, 2013 at 8:01 am

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Boston Budget Hearings Rolling Along

Boston’s budget hearings for Mayor Thomas Menino’s last proposed budget—a $ 2.6 billion operating budget, are rolling along. “We’re currently in hearings, and 18 of 26 departmental hearings have already occurred,” said Emilee Ellison, spokesperson for the mayor. “There are no hearings scheduled for next week due to the [Memorial Day] holiday. Hearings are scheduled to end the second week of June. And we’re moving toward a vote as usual.” A new updated budget will be submitted by the Menino administration in about three weeks, and the Boston City Council will vote on the last Wednesday in June on the resubmitted budget. Part of the proposed budget includes providing 10,000 more mobile computing devices for students and more learning courses for residents at community centers, and the city also plans to launch an iPad lending program for residents. In addition, the City Hall To Go truck will transition from a pilot to a monthly set schedule that allows it to visit every neighborhood at least once a month. The proposed $ 2.6 billion budget represents a 5.6 percent growth over last year’s budget, an increase of $ 138.7 million.   Boston Public Schools’ proposed budget is $ 934 million, which would be a $ 60.8 million increase from last year. That inclues a new $ 30 million Quality Improvement Fund to upgrade school facilities, technology and teacher quality programs. “There are numerous smaller projects and improvements underway that are not as visible but just as necessary to making our neighborhoods better places to live. This budget—like so many before it—is a testament to Mayor Menino’s strong stewardship of Boston’s finances and to the hard work of his stellar budget team,” said District 6 City Councilor Matt O’Malley, a member of the City Council’s Ways and Means Committee, which holds the budget hearings. “I am looking forward to continuing to work with the administration as we complete these projects while ensuring a top-notch level of city services.” SOUTH END PATCH: Facebook | Twitter | E-mail Updates South End Patch

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - May 29, 2013 at 12:31 am

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Senate Releases $34 Billion Budget Proposal

The Massachusetts State Senate Ways & Means Committee released a budget proposal Wednesday just shy of $ 34 billion for fiscal year 2014 that falls short of several of Gov. Deval Patrick’s budget recommendations. According to the Boston Globe, the Senate $ 33.92 billion budget would increase spending by 4.4 percent as opposed to Patrick’s budget that hikes spending by 6.9 percent. The Senate budget is roughly in line in terms of spending with the proposed $ 33.8 billion House budget proposed last month. The Globe reported that the Senate budget increases spending for elderly services and special education but does not reach Patrick’s recommendations for expanding transportation and providing universal childcare access. Committee Chairman Sen. Stephen M. Brewer (D-Barre) told the Globe their differences with Patrick’s budget are “not in the direction, but in the extent.” In a statement Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) said the proposal clearly “rejects once again the massive tax and spend measures” from Patrick. Tarr was still critical of the proposal, saying it “relies on a combination of over $ 627 million from one-time revenue sources and $ 450 million in tax increases, and that’s on top of the millions of dollars in additional tax increases that have been approved in recent years, including a $ 900 million increase in the sales tax implemented in 2009.” Patrick and the Legislature have until July 1, when the new fiscal year begins, to hammer out their differences and approve a budget.  SOUTH END PATCH: Facebook | Twitter | E-mail Updates South End Patch

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - May 16, 2013 at 3:21 pm

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City Taps Out $17.8 Million Budget for Snow Removal

Before this most recent storm had even started, the city had overspent its $ 17.8 million snow removal budget, with costs so far coming in at $ 18.1 million. However, that’s not to say the city can’t continue to clean up after snowstorms, according to the city’s chief financial officer, Meredith Weenick. Weenick said that the city’s $ 2.5 billion budget should be able to take on the extra costs of this year’s snow removal through surpluses in other areas. “It all falls to the bottom line,” Weenick said. “Over the course of the year, we watch the budget, and based on my projections, I feel confident that the known surpluses will cover the projected deficits, and even the potential for the next storm,” she said.  The $ 18.1 million overall winter of 2013 total roughly breaks down into: $ 2.7 million spent before the Blizzard of 2013 $ 13 million spent on the blizzard itself, with $ 7 million on plowing and $ 5 million on snow removal $ 2.6 million on March 8th storm Weenick said that in terms of city spending on snow removal, the city views snow plowing a public safety issue. “We’re going to do our job on every storm, the ones that have passed and the ones that will come, because that’s an important service to the people of Boston,” she said.  “We will accommodate whatever that requires within the means of our budget.”  SOUTH END PATCH: Facebook | Twitter | E-mail Updates South End Patch

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 20, 2013 at 3:05 pm

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Patrick Addresses Hundreds at Rally to Support His Budget Plan [VIDEO]

Hundreds of people bused in from across the state packed into a State House auditorim Tuesday morning to rally in support of Gov. Deval Patrick’s tax plan, which they say is critical to make much-needed improvements in education and transportation infrastructure.  The rally, which was organized by Campaign for our Communities, a coalition of over 120 organizations across the commonwealth, ended with attendees heading off to the offices of their representatives, urging them to vote for Patrick’s plan. The governor’s $ 34.8 billion budget proposal calls for an increase in the income tax from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent and the elimination of 44 deductions coupled with a decrease in the sales tax from 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent and a doubling of personal exemption.  Patrick said at Tuesday’s rally that the time had come to speak as “grown-ups, in a fact-based way, about taxes, because taxes are the price of civilization.”  By Patrick’s estimates, those who make under $ 62,000 a year shouldn’t see an increase in taxes and that those who make $ 100,000 will, on average, see a rise of a $ 300 to $ 400. To allow individuals to see how the plan would affect their taxes, the governor’s office last week released an online tool that calculates users’ tax bill. SOUTH END PATCH: Facebook | Twitter | E-mail Updates South End Patch

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 14, 2013 at 2:08 pm

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See Your Own Tax Bill Under Patrick Budget Plan

In an effort to further promote his proposed $ 34.8 billlion budget, Gov. Deval Patrick this week rolled out an online tool that would help families see the effect his plan would have on their bottom line. The tool was released less than a week after Patrick unveiled 400 online maps showing what each district would receive in transportation and education benefits under his tax plan.  “We are proposing meaningful investments in education and transportation, and people want to know what that means for them,” Patrick said. “Last week, with the maps, we showed what long-postponed projects would get done in each community. Now, with this tool, we show just what the costs or savings will be for individual households.” The program not only lets users enter their income information to see how their tax bill would change, it also allows them to develop their own tax reform proposal and see how it would alter their net income. The administration claims that about half of Massachusetts taxpayers will see a reduction in their tax burden, or come out the same, under Patrick’s proposal, which is marked by an increase in the income tax from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent and the end of 44 deductions combined with a reduction in the sales tax from 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent a a doubling of personal exemptions. SOUTH END PATCH: Facebook | Twitter | E-mail Updates South End Patch

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 8, 2013 at 5:49 pm

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Patrick Budget Eliminates 44 Tax Deductions

A recent analysis of Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposed budget finds that it eliminates 44 tax breaks that benefit a large slice of Massachusetts taxpayers. Patrick’s $ 34.8 billion FY2014 budget includes not only a 1 percentage point hike in the income tax – from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent – but the end of such deductions such as the capital gains from the sale of a person’s primary home, college tuition, and contributions to a health savings account. The analysis, by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, found that the eliminations would raise an additional $ 1 billion for the commonwealth. But Patrick’s assistant secretary for fiscal policy, Gregory R. Mennis, told The Republican that that amount would be offset by the doubling of personal exemptions, which benefit all taxpayers.  Another key aspect of Patrick’s plan is the lowering of the sales tax from 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent. When taking this change, along with the rise in personal exemptions, about half of Massachusetts households – in particular those earning less than $ 60,000 a year – will see their taxes stay the same or drop, by Mennis’ calculations. “It’s important to look at the tax package as a whole,” Mennis told The Republican.  The goal of the budget, Patrick has said, is to make the tax code simpler and fairer, with the tax burden shifting from the lower and middle classes to the more affluent. The bill is being reviewed by the House, which will release its budget proposal in April.  SOUTH END PATCH: Facebook | Twitter | E-mail Updates South End Patch

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 26, 2013 at 10:33 am

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Senate OKs $200M Withdrawal From Rainy-Day Fund to Offset Budget Gap

The state senate voted Tuesday to spend $ 200 million in rainy day cash to balance the budget and freeze the unemployment insurance rates businesses pay, according to The Republican. The bill is part of an effort to close a projected $ 515 million shortfall in this fiscal year’s $ 32 billion budget, causing by lower-than-expected tax revenue.  The reserve fund money will also be used to help employers avoid a projected 28 percent increase in unemployment insurance – knocking that rise down to 4.4 percent. About $ 30 million of the $ 200 million withdrawal will be used to pay costs incurred in the state drug-lab scandal, The Republican reported.  The spending would still leave Massachusetts with $ 1.2 billion in reserves, which is more than most other states have, according to the legislators.  The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 36-1. SOUTH END PATCH: Facebook | Twitter | E-mail Updates South End Patch

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 15, 2013 at 2:59 pm

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