MMA alert today –
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
STATE BUDGET WOES DEEPEN, STATE FACING FISCAL 2017 REVENUE GAP OF UP TO $950 MILLION
PLEASE CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS TODAY TO ENSURE THAT CITIES AND TOWNS ARE PROTECTED AS LAWMAKERS SEEK TO CLOSE WIDENING FISCAL 2017 DEFICIT
Brexit Vote Destabilizes World Economy, State Leaders Predict Further Loss of Tax Revenue for Fiscal 2017
As we reported in an MMA Action Alert yesterday (Monday), deliberations on the fiscal 2017 state budget have been thrown into disarray by a major slump in state tax collections. Unfortunately, the state’s fiscal picture has darkened even more.
Late yesterday afternoon, Governor Baker announced that the revenue shortfall for fiscal 2017 is likely to be $200 million worse than the gloomy projections made less than two weeks ago, mostly as a result of widespread unrest and financial volatility stemming from the Brexit vote, combined with lower-than-expected tax collections as the state closes fiscal year 2016.
The new estimate is that fiscal 2017 tax revenues will be $650 million to $950 million lower than originally thought.
This is bad news, because a revenue loss of this magnitude will force deep cuts across all aspects of the new state budget. The three separate fiscal 2017 budgets set by the Governor, House and Senate were all based on the original, higher revenue projection, which means all of the plans are out of balance.
The Legislature has passed a temporary 1-month budget to cover state obligations through the end of July and provide some breathing room for legislators while they dramatically scale back their fiscal 2017 budget.
It is imperative to remind your legislators that cities and towns have already set their budgets based on reasonable estimates of local aid and education funding. Any cuts to municipal or school accounts would trigger major budget problems in all 351 cities and towns. Any local aid reductions at this point would be incredibly disruptive, and would force communities to reopen their already-passed budgets and impose mid-year cuts.
Please call your legislators today to oppose cuts to Cherry Sheet Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA), Chapter 70 school aid and other municipal and school aid accounts that are included in your local spending plans. Reliance on the property tax to fund municipal and school services is at a 30-year high, and it is too late to pursue tax overrides to replace lost local aid. Any local aid reduction would translate into cuts in essential services and programs that are necessary for our economic growth and stability.
Please Call Your Legislators Today and Ask Them to Protect Local Aid