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September 14, 2013

Lawmakers poised to repeal tech tax

O'Connor Ives: New taxes not needed to replace anticipated revenue


No new taxes are needed to replace anticipated tech tax revenues, O’Connor Ives said yesterday. Any budget gaps can be filled with with surplus revenues from FY2013, which ended on June 30, or excess revenues from the current, 2014 fiscal year, which began in July 1, she said.

“Before raising taxes, first we need to explore tax reform,” O’Connor Ives said.

Tarr agreed, neither a new tax nor the existing tech tax is necessary at all given last year’s surplus revenue and the fact that tax revenue so far this year is $139 million over projections.

“The main point is we have the funds to readily close the gap created by repealing the tax,” Tarr said. “We need to cease the discussion of a need to replace this ill-conceived tax with another ill-conceived tax.”

O’Connor Ives added that she disliked the technology tax from the start and believed it would be a hindrance to the state’s lucrative and successful technology industry.

“It was part of the transportation financing bill, and I voted against the transportation bill because I didn’t like the technology tax or the gasoline tax increase, which was also a part of the bill,” she said.

State Rep. Diana DiZoglio, D-Methuen, also opposed the tax before the package was passed and is glad to see it go.

“It’s not good for business, especially along our border with New Hampshire,” she said. “We’re moving into an innovation economy and we need to be promoting job development and economic growth in the area, not squashing it.”

Even those who supported it originally cited concerns about its potential impact on Massachusetts’ thriving technology sector, and fears that the tax is overly broad and would hit businesses that not only produce certain software, but those that purchase and use it as well.

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