Markey, House of Representatives Votes to Repeal Software Services Technology Tax
(BOSTON)- On Wednesday, State Representative Christopher Markey of Dartmouth joined his colleagues in the House of Representatives in voting to repeal the software services technology tax (tech tax) that had been passed just a few months ago. The bill, H3662, passed by a 156-1 vote and will serve to repeal the controversial tax previously adopted as part of the recent transportation finance reform package.
Markey pointed to problems with the Department of Revenue's interpretation of the new tax code as the impetus for his vote. "There were too many questions on how to interpret the code by the DOR and, more importantly, there was a tremendous amount of confusion and uncertainty among the software development community. At the end of the day, it became apparent that we needed to reevaluate that policy," Markey said. Joshua Harding, President of Statewide Software, a software development company based in New Bedford, thanked the Legislature for their efforts to repeal the tax, and pointed specifically to Markey's efforts to reach out and listen to the software industry's account of the negative impact of the tax and for taking action to address the problem. "I called legislators across the state and, by far, Representative Markey and his staff were the most responsive. They actually took the time to meet with us, asked us the right questions, and, most importantly, listened to our concerns and acted upon them," Harding said. Rather than be disappointed, Harding pointed to the process as a success, adding "we are elated by the progress we've made, and can't thank Rep. Markey and his staff enough for what they've done."
The tech tax component of the transportation finance package was initially forecast to generate $161 million but, because of the complexity of the statute, the estimated cost for businesses to comply would have been too burdensome to innovation and job growth, according to Markey. "Building the infrastructure we need to sustain future growth is important, but we can't build it on the backs of one industry," he said.
The bill now goes to the Senate for further consideration.