- Associated Press - Saturday, December 5, 2015

BOSTON (AP) - A new report finds that even as the overall economy improves, cities and towns in Massachusetts are still feeling plenty of financial strain.

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation released its annual municipal financial report this week, saying municipal revenues grew by a modest 3.8 percent in the last fiscal year, a figure that remains below historical averages prior to the Great Recession.

According to the report, wages for municipal employees grew by 3.7 percent last year, a rate higher than the average for private sector workers in Massachusetts.

The foundation says cities and towns are weighted down by $45 billion in unfunded pension and health care liabilities.

Municipalities collected a total of $14.6 billion in property taxes last year, an increase of 4.1 percent and the largest year-over-year increase since 2010.

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