BOSTON (WWLP) - Governor Deval Patrick met with the House Speaker, Senate President and technology leaders to talk about the state’s controversial new computer software tax Wednesday. 22NEWS caught up with business leaders leaving the private meeting
“I’m satisfied that they did listen to us and they did understand the difficulty. The governor made clear that he wants to fund his transportation issue so that’s where we left it,” said Andy Singleton, CEO of Assembla, a software company.
Members of the business community want to repeal the new 6.25 percent sales tax on computer software and system upgrades. They say it penalizes innovation, especially the state’s software leaders. But the tax is meant to generate money for the state’s transportation needs, like road and bridge repair. If the tech tax goes, the governor wants it replaced with a new revenue source, but it’s unclear where that would come from.
“[The governor and legislative leaders] did not make any commitment about how they’re going to proceed,” said Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer. “In my individual meetings with senators I’ve put various ideas on the table but there’s absolutely no consensus at this time.”
Patrick’s staff abruptly cancelled a news conference they scheduled at the end of the meeting.
“There was a misunderstanding on our part,” said Jessie Mermell, a spokesperson for the governor.
In a statement, Governor Patrick said they had a “constructive and robust conversation about the software tax.” While they “did not arrive at a solution” they’re committed to finding one over the next few weeks.
House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray issued a joint statement. They said the meeting was “thoughtful and informative” and they plan to continue talks with members of the House and Senate.