BOSTON (WWLP) - It’s incredibly rare for the state Legislature to approve a tax and then a few months later say they were wrong, they shouldn’t have done that, but that’s what happened Thursday. House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray announced they’ve changed their minds – They want to repeal an unpopular tech tax the state Legislature approved over the summer that’s harmful to the Massachusetts economy.
“You know what, it could be a mistake and as a result of that we’re, you know, we’re going to repeal it,” said House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop).
The tax aims to generate $160 million dollars in revenue for the state’s transportation needs. It charges businesses a 6.25 percent sales tax on computer software services. Tech leaders say the tax is confusing and is preventing them from billing their clients.
“It wasn’t until after we passed our budgets …the technology people who are actually in the business said it couldn’t be done, that it was too burdensome and they didn’t know how to collect the money,” said Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth).
Tech leaders point out there was no public hearing for the tax and several state lawmakers have come forward, admitting they didn’t fully understand it.
“When we’re making tax policy in Massachusetts, the Legislature and the taxpayer community ought to be given ample time to fully understand language and impact, and we weren’t provided with that opportunity,” said Mass High Tech Council President Chris Anderson.
Legislative leaders say no new tax will be introduced to replace the tech tax. Instead they will try to use budget surpluses to make up the difference.