Senator Moore's Economic Vitalization Legislation
S.1526, An Act relative to equalizing the Department of Revenue Interest Rate- The purpose of this bill is to bring a greater sense of fairness and equity to the Commonwealth’s tax system. This bill is narrow in scope, but it targets a glaring inequity in our tax code that levies undue costs on Massachusetts citizens and undermines the principles of fairness in our system. Under existing law, a taxpayer who fails to make a timely payment is required to pay interest after the statutory due date. I am not here today to argue against the validity or effectiveness of this method. Currently, the interest for any such delinquent tax liability is the federal short term rate (which is determined by federal law) plus four percentage points, compounded daily. However, when the situation is reversed and a taxpayer is owed a refund, the Commonwealth is afforded a much more favorable interest rating. The Department of Revenue is allowed 120 days to mail the refund to a taxpayer before being considered past due. Like taxpayers, if the Department does not make payments in a timely manner, they are assessed interest on the late payment. Like the taxpayer, this interest rate is based on the federal short-term rate. Unlike the taxpayer, the Department is assessed the federal short-term rate plus two percentage points (rather than four), which is then computed as simple interest. This blatant double standard allows the Commonwealth to pay a notably reduced interest rate for their tardiness than the taxpayers. To view the bill text and track its progress, you can visit the Legislature’s website: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/189/Senate/S1526.
S.224, An Act relative to a meals tax holiday- The bill language is based on the sales tax holiday legislation that first passed in 2008, and has been reestablished for the past five years. Both tactics incentivize spending across Massachusetts; offering a measure relief to consumers and stimulating businesses. Not only do these businesses provide a reliable tax base for municipalities, but they often drive consumers to key economic areas and other local businesses as well. Additionally, the legislation establishes the meals tax holiday during a traditionally slow week for these businesses. The legislature has the ability to forecast the loss in revenue for these programs, which is why the language specifically targets the state meals tax. The bill does not create exemptions from any existing local meals tax, nor does it prevent or dissuade communities from enacting such measures in the future. I believe that the passage of this bill will motivate residents explore local restaurants, and in turn, stimulate the economic well-being of our small businesses and municipalities. To view the bill text and track its progress, you can visit the Legislature’s website: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/189/Senate/S225.
S.1696- A Resolve to sstudy the feasibility of streamlining business regulations- This bill would require the Commonwealth’s Office of Innovation to lead a study to evaluate the possibility of increasing information sharing among state agencies to streamline the registration process for new businesses, particularly small businesses. The Commission would include Secretaries or designees from each Executive and Constitutional Office, members appointed by the Governor, representatives from the Legislature, and members of the Business and Technology communities.
S.528, An Act relative to an affordable health plan- This legislation creates a more affordable option for small businesses, lowering premiums on comparable products by as much as 22% by requiring health care providers and health insurers to share in the responsibility for holding down costs. You can find the bill text and monitor its progress on the Legislature’s website: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/189/Senate/S528.