ADAMS, Mass. — Ed MacDonald, candidate for state representative, has released the following information regarding small businesses in the commonwealth.
The 600,000 Massachusetts small businesses are vital to the financial well-being of the state's economy. Their contribution is essential for economic growth since they make up almost all employer firms in the state. As entrepreneurs and innovators, small-business owners represent a diverse group that continues to keep the state's economy productive. In these difficult times as much as we need to cut spending, we also need to invest in creating jobs.
The commonwealth has invested hundreds of millions, perhaps billions, of capital dollars into technology development initiatives over the past decade. Our state continues to be a leader in innovation and technology, outpacing competitor states in research and development, new patents, and federal innovation grants, according to Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. We need to build upon this success.
The bottom line is creating jobs. Massachusetts should establish a wage credit for each new job that is created. This credit should be for jobs created in the commonwealth and that stay here.
I propose the establishment of a wage credit for new jobs created by small companies of fewer than 100 employees in Massachusetts. This credit should be for up to 20 percent of the wages paid to any new hire or up to a maximum of $15,000. If the job is created in a high technology company in a field of projected growth such as biotechnology or nanotechnology, this credit should be increased to $25,000. Change the tax code for Massachusetts to be equal to the federal statute that allows businesses to claim losses for more than one year. This will help small businesses retain lost revenue and make them equal with federal regulations.
The credit should also increased to the higher level if the employer hires a dislocated worker, a lower income individual or a veteran. I recognize that small startup companies often do not have any real income in their formative years when they most need to hire new staff, so this tax credit should be refundable. To protect our taxpayers, these jobs must be retained for two years in the commonwealth, if not the value of the credit must be repaid to the state.
RICHMOND, Mass. — Rosanne Frieri, a candidate for representative in the 2nd Berkshire District, is calling for immediate property tax reform and relief of homeowners.
"The property tax system is simply unjust to homeowners and does not have adequate checks and balances to protect homeowners from disproportionate assessments," said the Richmond Republican. "Property tax laws by design place every property owner at a distinct disadvantage."
Frieri has met with property owners and reviewed multiple complaints that the Department of Revenue and other state agencies have largely ignored.
"It is outrageous that homeowners continue to have their property taxes raised in a market that has not just slid, but avalanched downhill since 2006. On top of that is a property tax system with outmoded laws that favor assessors and place every homeowner at substantial risk for an unfair assessment."
Frieri also cites another troubling trend of escalating property tax rates in small towns that offer few services. "What are these good citizens getting in return for the high property taxes they pay?" she asks.
Frieri lists a multitude of problems with the current property tax system, from assessors with no meaningful oversight to an Appellate Tax Board that has no enforcement power. Additionally, current laws force homeowners to pay their property tax bills in full on incorrect assessments or their right to appeal is disallowed, foreclosure sales are not factored into market value, and the appeals process is too complicated and costly.
According to Frieri, property tax issues are impacting everyone negatively, from business owners to homeowners to renters who have property tax increases passed on to them by their landlords.
"Many people are unemployed, or on fixed incomes such as the elderly and our war veterans. Under the current property tax system, they are faced with losing their homes to seizure unless these skyrocketing property taxes are paid, and how are they supposed to pay them?" she asked.
Frieri said she is committed to advocating property owners' rights and sponsoring bills to reform the property tax system, which has not undergone a major reform in over 30 years with many of the laws dating back to Colonial times.
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The cities of Pittsfield and North Adams will hold municipal elections for mayor, city council and school committee in 2015
You may vote absentee: if you will be absent from your town or city on election day, have a physical disability that prevents you from voting at the polls or cannot vote at the polls because to religious beliefs.