An Act relative to life cycle costs for long term pavement solutions

Summary

This legislation would require the Department of Transportation to study the long term cost-effectiveness of pavement alternatives, specifically concrete for use in transportation projects. The language also requires that MassDOT conduct 4 demonstration projects annually that test different pavement designs, and analyze the results.  These results will be reported by MassDOT, and include comparisons of long-term costs, reduction of noise, friction, and ride quality.


An Act to clarify the net-worth measure of the corporate excise

Summary

To clarify the current law regarding the calculation used to determine the net-worth measure of the corporate excise.  AIM’s proposal seeks to clarify how the Department of Revenue calculates debt vs. equity calculation during the audit process, which has been inconsistent and seeks to affirm existing state and federal law regarding foreign owned companies.


An Act relative to reasonable notice and cure standards to protect small businesses

Summary

This legislation will establish basic protections for small businesses that are targeted by exploitative lawsuits under the ADA. The ADA is an essential protection for our disability community, but its provisions are being abused through so called “drive-by lawsuits.” This occurs when a lawyer, who is neither disabled or even a customer, drives by a building and notices a violation as small as a misworded handicap parking sign. They then file suit against the business, hoping for an easy settlement at the expense of the business owner.  The practice is becoming so common, that some are using google maps to find violations, allowing them to file even more lawsuits. This bill would simply require that before a lawsuit is filed, the business must be notified of the violation and given 60 days to rectify the violation.  This will protect business owners and the courts from frivolous lawsuits without removing the important protections of the ADA.


An Act relative to the filing of annual returns by small public charities

Summary

This legislation directs the Attorney General to adopt regulations to align state requirements regarding the filing of annual returns for charitable organizations with federal IRS rules and regulations for small tax-exempt organizations so that charitable organizations with gross receipts normally $50,000 or less will no longer be required to file a federal form 990-EZ with their annual report to the Attorney General.


An Act improving the tax administrative laws of the Commonwealth

Summary

This legislation changes the administrative provisions of our tax laws and improves the tax code by: (a) encouraging settlement of cases instead of litigation; (b) allowing for an expeditious collection of revenues by providing a one month extension for combined filers; (c) making the sham transaction doctrine equitable and more aligned with the Internal Revenue Code; (d) restoring equal estimated quarterly payments of taxes; and (e) establishing a broad tax amnesty program.


An Act alleviating health care burdens for Massachusetts employers

Summary

Federal law mandates certain requirements for the administration of health plans in the non-group market. Because Massachusetts is the only state in the country with a merged small group and non-group market, these requirements also apply to small group plans. De-merging these markets would benefit small businesses by ensuring that they will not be unnecessarily burdened by certain policies that were intended to apply only to individual health plans. Separating these markets would have a positive impact on health care costs for Massachusetts small businesses at a time when these pressures continue to rise.  Demerging the small group from the individual market will provide rate relief to employers of 50 or fewer.  Further, when the ACA requires community rating for employers of 100 or fewer, they would also benefit.


An Act relative to equalizing the Department of Revenue interest rates

Summary

Under current law, a taxpayer that fails to make a timely payment is required to pay interest after the statutory due date.  The interest for such delinquent tax liability is the federal short-term rate, plus four percentage points, compounded daily.  In contrast, when the Department of Revenue owes a taxpayer a refund, the rate of interest is the federal short-term rate, plus two percentage points, computed as simple interest.  Moreover, the Department of Revenue gets 120 days from the last date for filing the tax return before interest applies. If the refund is mailed within the 120 days, DOR pays no interest.  This legislation restores equity to our tax code by subjecting the taxpayer and the Commonwealth to the same interest rate at the federal short-term rate, plus two percentage points, computed as simple interest.