MetroWest Daily News: Track tax break results
April 25, 2011
People enjoy seeing movie stars at work in their towns and local places on the big screen, and we've been seeing a lot of that since Massachusetts lured movie-makers here with generous tax breaks. State leaders praise the results of the tax breaks, state, but there's a big hole in the plot.
A new study finds there is no way to know if those revenue sacrifices - whether for blockbuster movies or high-tech startup companies - are a smart investment or expensive folly.
State Auditor Suzanne Bump recently looked at 92 business tax breaks or credits offered by the state and found that only seven called for periodic reviews to determine their value. Only 10 had provisions allowing the state to get back some of the billions of dollars in taxes it forfeits if a company doesn't meet job-creation goals or other benchmarks.
Worcester Telegram & Gazette: Housing agency faulted in audit
April 23, 2011
A recently released report by the state auditor’s office says the Auburn Housing Authority kept insufficient records on an $88,269 grant it received from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for work on capital improvements during the transfer of 43-state owned units to federal ownership.
In an audit released on Thursday covering the period from April 1, 2008, through June 30, 2010, the state auditor’s office said there were no problems found with the AHA’s operational practices, including its vacancy turnover and its inspection of the 190 public housing units the authority oversees.
However, the report said the AHA wasn’t properly utilizing or accounting for the $88,269 grant it received through the ARRA. The audit cited the AHA for hiring contractors without meeting the prevailing wage requirements and for keeping insufficient records on the number of jobs the grant created or retained.
Patriot Ledger: Hull Housing Authority credited with making improvements
April 22, 2011
The state auditor’s office has cited the Hull Housing Authority for management improvements it has made, according to a report released Thursday. The audit found that the authority had addressed concerns cited in a previous audit.
The improvements included maintaining and updating a waiting list, making timely payments in lieu of taxes to the the town, decreasing the amount of lost tenant revenue, and making efforts to fill vacant units in a timely manner.
MetroWest Daily News: State auditor says Massachusetts lacks oversight of tax breaks
April 7, 2011 - The following content was originally published by the MetroWest Daily News.
State Auditor Suzanne Bump says a review by her office shows that Massachusetts lacks oversight of business tax breaks and other incentives.
In testimony before the Joint Committee on Revenue, Bump said while budget expenditures are reviewed by the auditor's office, tax breaks are seldom if ever reviewed for their effectiveness or continued public benefit.
"Taxpayers shouldn’t stand for this," she said, according to a copy of her remarks released by her office. "There must be as much accountability and transparency in tax expenditures as in budget expenditures."
Read more from the MetroWest Daily News.
iBerkshires.com: State Auditor Talks Money, Politics and Honesty
April 4, 2011
Most fourth-graders don't know who their state senator is, but thanks to a visit from Suzanne Bump, pupils at Undermountain Elementary School know who their auditor is and what she does at the State House.