Cariddi Files Bill To Attract Jobs and Businesses To Certain Areas Of State

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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Gailanne Cariddi's bill would create tax incentives to bring new jobs to certain areas of the state.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — State Rep. Gailanne Cariddi wants to give new businesses a little extra incentive to open in areas that could use more jobs.
The North Adams Democrat has introduced a bill to create a tax increment financing program for new businesses.
The bill would forgive state taxes such as sales tax on new equipment, personal income taxes, state fees and corporate taxes over a decade with the company paying a little bit more of the tax burden each year.
"We really could use new businesses in [North Adams]. I want to help start new businesses in places around the commonwealth just like us," Cariddi said. "I can't just say me. We have to have other buy-ins on this because it is a big thing and could affect the commonwealth in a great way."
The bill creates five criteria; an area must fit two of of them to be considered a "TIF zone." The five are that an area is a micropolitan (an urban core of between 10,000 and 50,000), has lost mills or manufacturing, is trying to reuse brownfield parcels, has a poverty rate higher than state average, or unemployment higher than state average.
"We're really trying to target areas that really could use a shot in the arm to get their economies growing," Cariddi said. 
TIF programs are typically used at the municipal level as an incentive to attract businesses and jobs. Cariddi said her bill is no different. The goal is to attract companies that will establish many jobs and Cariddi says a number of industries and professional services are exempt, such as restaurants, lawyers, real estate brokers, and financial services. 
"The requirements are that it would be expressly for state taxes and fees and exemption percentages not to exceed 100 percent for a period of 10 years. As we know, TIFs work in communities. They start out at 0 percent and work up to 100 percent over a period of 10 years. It would be the same with this," Cariddi said. "It would establish TIF zones for new jobs and the emphasis will be on small businesses and startups."
And the businesses have to be brand new to the commonwealth, so no existing company in Massachusetts can jump onto the program and lower state revenues. 
"We want to target it to businesses who are really going to establish jobs for a minimum of 10 years," Cariddi said.
Cariddi is also refiling a bill to reduce telephone solicitations. Last session, she filed the bill to stop unwanted phone calls. The bill also includes provisions for those raising funds that require the caller to detail exactly where the donations are going if they are asked.
"We couldn't get it out of third reading and it was disappointing. It went through the committee system all the way to a second reading and we just couldn't see the light out of the third reading tunnel. But we're hopeful this year," Cariddi said.
She has more than 40 co-sponsors on the bill that is particularly aimed to assist elderly who receive pestering calls at home. 
"They are being harassed in their own private space. And there is a lot of fraud through telephone calls," Cariddi said.
Coupled with the bill, Cariddi is working with Consumer Reports, an independent product tester, on a campaign to end robotic calling. 
"I have been in contact with Consumer Reports in my position as state representative to work with them to not only bring their issues more forward but to tie with this type of legislation," she said.
Cariddi said the Federal Trade Commission put out a call asking for the creation of technology to stop robo calls and thousands responded. But phone providers need to be made aware of the technologies and customers need to demand they use them, she said.
"People should be asking their telephone provider to make use of technology available to stop robo calls," Cariddi said.
She says many companies are saying they haven't heard of the technology but eventually, the demand will lead to providers making use of it.

Tags: Cariddi,   job creation,   representative,   small business,   tax incentive,   telephone solicitation,   

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