Taxes

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  • As previously promised, both branches have now voted to repeal the software tax. It will shortly be laid upon the Governor’s desk and signed. The repeal is fully retroactive: If people have collected it from customers, they should return it. If they have remitted payments to the Department of Revenue, they can apply for the […]
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  • Legislative leaders announced today that they support the repeal of the software tax. The Governor made the same announcement yesterday. I am relieved by this announcement — it means a mistake will be fixed and we will avoid much future controversy. I had become convinced last month that the tax (a) was simply not computable […]
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  • The Department of Revenue has produced new guidelines about the application of the software services tax. These are draft guidelines which are still subject to change. The important idea in the new interpretation, which is an idea that I had been pushing, is that the tax should apply to modifications of pre-written software only when […]
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  • I was pleased to report the successful completion of legislative efforts to pass a transportation funding package. It represented the main product of the first leg of the legislative session and was a very necessary and difficult thing to do. I fully supported it and accept full responsibility for every element of it. Unfortunately, it […]
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  • Will, from the link below, it sounds like those of us who do software consulting received an unwelcome surprise last week: http://www.mass.gov/dor/businesses/help-and-resources/legal-library/tirs/tirs-by-years/2013-releases/tir-13-10.html Do you know who supported this change, and how it became law “under the radar”? Bob
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  • Other States are implementing them on sales of bikes over $499. A 10% sales tax should add a few million to the coffers and offset some of the cost of adding bike lanes. There should be no more free rides seeing the significant costs that motorist are bearing (gas tax, tolls, insurance, excise tax, and […]
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  • There is an active email and call campaign going on in support of the Governor’s revenue package and also a related bill (from “the Campaign for our Communities”) that would also increase the income tax rate. A sample email appears further below. I am personally willing to support any package that will yield funding for […]
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  • The Governor has rolled out a very useful tool for understanding the moving parts in his tax package
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  • Last week, the Governor proposed a substantial income tax rate increase, and so focused political attention — positive and negative — on that simple and controversial proposition. In fact, however, he placed before the legislature a broad package which raises three major questions: First, should we make a substantial increase in spending on our transportation […]
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  • We’re just getting started in the budget process and we’ll all carefully study the options. Read the Governor’s revenue plan here. Read a summary of recent cost-control and fiscal responsibility measures here. This morning, I offered this comment to a journalist asking my views on the plan. Like most legislators and most careful observers, and […]
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  • With regard to tax expenditures, I think it is important that the legislature review and reconsider the many tax expenditures it has imposed on local governments.  Millions of local tax dollars are lost as a result of the huge local property tax breaks private golf courses and public utilities receive.  For example, the Oakley Country […]
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  • Many citizens would welcome lower taxes, but most also question the effectiveness of special tax breaks for particular groups or industries. Special tax breaks tend to encourage crony capitalism by placing the government in the position of picking winners and losers in the economy. Fortunately, we have recently started to make some progress towards bringing special interest tax breaks under better control.
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