GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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September 10, 2013

Tarr, Hill step up push to repeal tech tax

BOSTON — Gloucester State Sen. Bruce Tarr and other Republican legislative leaders said Monday that finding a new revenue source to replace the estimated $161 million that would be lost by repealing a tax on software services is not necessary, and trying to fix the controversial new tax won’t work.

Over two dozen House and Senate Republicans, including Tarr and Brad Hill, the Ipswich representative whose district includes the town of Manchester, called for the repeal of the new computer and software design services tax at the offices of a South End technology company, releasing a draft of legislation that will be filed this week mirroring the proposed 2014 ballot question to repeal the tax.

Tarr and House Minority Leader Brad Jones spoke for their Republican colleagues alongside John Grayson, the CEO and president of Genuine Interactive, a software design firm specializing in brand advancement, web design and interactive kiosk development.

“We can’t afford to penalize innovation and job creation in one of the state’s most promising sectors if we hope to have the kind of robust economic recovery that creates the jobs people need and the tax revenue state government depends on,” said Tarr. “The time is now to change course from increasing taxes on productivity and focus on creating a climate for job growth and reform and efficiency in our state’s operations.”

Hill said he felt the tax “has been a boondoggle since its inception.”

“It was so broadly written that the Mass Department of Revenue cannot even explain to our businesses how it will be implemented,” Hill said. “At no time should the legislature have approved a tax without first meeting with the businesses and citizens it would affect and more importantly not know the true ramifications of loss business that would follow should it be passed.

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