Monday, April 30, 2007

MA Gov. and Legs. Announce Taxation Study

Governor, Legislative Leaders Announce Study Commission on Corporate Taxation

BOSTON – Monday, April 30, 2007 – Governor Deval Patrick, Senate President Therese Murray, and Speaker of the House Salvatore F. DiMasi announced today the creation of a Study Commission on Corporate Taxation, naming 15 members to review and offer recommendations for streamlining the current tax code.

The mandate of the Commission is to study the modernization and simplification of the current business tax laws of the Commonwealth, to promote tax fairness and equity, encourage business growth and innovation, and strengthen the Commonwealth’s global competitiveness. An interim report on legislative recommendations providing revenue for Fiscal Year 2008 will be due by June 15, 2007. A final report on long-term changes to corporate tax laws will be completed by January 1, 2008.

“We have set an ambitious timeline for the initial findings and we expect the commission to meet that deadline,” said Governor Patrick. “At hand is the issue of the fundamental fairness of our tax code—an issue that we must address in a swift and comprehensive fashion. What businesses are looking for more than anything is predictability and fairness, and I believe the commission members appointed today will set us on the path to determining how best to achieve that tax equality and ensure Massachusetts is an attractive place for business to expand and locate here.”

“This is a positive approach towards giving the Governor's tax proposals due consideration because the commission will take a comprehensive and thorough look at the entire corporate tax code," said Senate President Therese Murray. "I hope the panel will find ways to make the code predictable and equitable to the business community and at the same time yield additional revenues for the Commonwealth."

“The work of this diverse commission is very important at a critical period in the Commonwealth’s fiscal and economic future,” said House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi. “The tax code in Massachusetts must be made more simple, equitable and predictable. We must also strike the right balance between businesses paying their fair share and limiting the financial burdens we place on employers that may stifle job growth and limit our revenues far into the future.”

The mandate of the Commission specifically includes: reviewing the Governor’s bill, House No. 3756, An Act Improving the Fairness of the Tax Laws; other subjects of business taxation, including (1) the preferential tax treatment of security corporations, (2) the appropriate method for calculating credits for research and development credits, (3) the scope and ongoing need for the various exemptions from the sales and use taxes, (4) appropriate taxation of digital products, (5) estimated tax payment rules for individuals, (6) the substitution of refundable credits for transferable credits, (7) use of gambling losses on personal income tax returns, (8) the imposition of the cigar excise on wholesale transactions, and (9) the calculation of the non-income measure of the corporate excise; and the Commonwealth’s participation in the Streamlined Sales Tax Compact.

Commission members include:

· Leslie Kirwan, Secretary of Administration and Finance, Chair*

· Representative John Binienda, House Chair, Joint Committee on Revenue*

· Senator Cynthia Creem, Senate Chair, Joint Committee on Revenue*

· Representative Bradley Jones, House Minority Leader*

· Senator Richard Tisei, Senate Minority Leader*

· Alan LeBovidge, Commissioner of Revenue*

· Professor Alan Clayton-Matthews, UMass Boston

· Joseph Donovan, tax lawyer, Sullivan and Worcester

· Karl Fryzel, tax lawyer, Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge

· Stephen W. Kidder, Managing Partner, Hemenway & Barnes

· Kevin Long, CPA

· Eileen McAnneny, Associated Industries of Massachusetts

· Jane Steinmetz, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers

· Robert Tannenwald, Economist and Director, New England Public Policy Center, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

· Michael Widmer, President, Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation

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