[Hidden-tech] Fwd: New IT services tax in Massachusetts - constituent communication

Ron Blechner rtblechner at gmail.com
Mon Aug 12 13:05:06 EDT 2013

The fundamental question is... why didn't any politicians allow time for
the tech community to respond to proposed taxes before blunderingly passing
something "they didn't intend"?

I am unsatisfied with a fix to the tax; we deserve a fix to why this
On Aug 12, 2013 11:53 AM, "Jeff Rutherford" <jeffrutherford at gmail.com>

>    ** Be sure to fill out the survey/skills inventory in the member's area.
>    ** If you did, we all thank you.
> Response from Rep. Stephen Kulik. I encourage everyone to contact state
> legislators about this tax. They need to hear from a lot of people!
> Jeff Rutherford
> 413-475-0087
> Begin forwarded message:
> *From:* "Kulik, Stephen - Rep. (HOU)" <Stephen.Kulik at mahouse.gov>
> *Date:* August 8, 2013, 10:05:40 PM EDT
> *To:* Jeff Rutherford <jeffrutherford at gmail.com>
> *Subject:* *RE: New IT services tax in Massachusetts - constituent
> communication*
> Jeff,
>  Thanks very much for sharing your concerns about this.  As you know, the
> legislature scaled back governor Patrick's much more expansive tax proposal
> that he submitted in January.  Our intent was to craft something more
> limited and narrower in scope.  I am aware of the concerns that have been
> raised by some in the business community in the past few weeks.  We are
> looking at these concerns very carefully, as we do disagree on some of the
> interpretations being talked about.  If we have created something that was
> not our intent, we have promised to revisit and change it.  It is certainly
> not our intent to raise $500 million as some claim, and to harm our tech
> sector. Our estimate is that this will raise about $160 million, and apply
> to a limited number of services.  This will be clarified in the coming
> weeks as DOR writes the regulations.  This is a work in progress, so stay
> tuned, and I appreciate your input.
>  Best,
>  Steve
>   *Rep. Stephen Kulik*
> *First Franklin District*
> Vice Chairman, House Ways & Means Committee
> State House, Room 238        1 Sugarloaf Street
> Boston, MA 02133                South Deerfield, MA 01373
> 617-722-2380                        413-665-7200
> Email: Stephen.Kulik at mahouse.gov <Rep.Stephenkulik at hou.state.ma.us>
>    ------------------------------
> *From:* Jeff Rutherford [jeffrutherford at gmail.com]
> *Sent:* Wednesday, August 07, 2013 3:12 PM
> *To:* Kulik, Stephen - Rep. (HOU)
> *Subject:* New IT services tax in Massachusetts - constituent
> communication
>   Representative Kulik,
>  I'm a resident of Conway, MA. I have worked in public relations for
> digital companies for the past 16 years. I'm writing you to strongly urge
> you to do everything within your power to stop the new IT services tax
> immediately. I don't think you or any of the other legislators realize the
> damage you've already caused.
>  The IT and information economy is going to be the driver of the American
> economy for many years to come. By passing the new IT services tax, you've
> basically shut down Massachusetts from thriving as a state in the future.
> Venture capitalists are now re-considering their future investments in
> Massachusetts digital companies.
>  I understand that you get a lot of passionate emails and contact from
> constituents. Again, I urge you to take this very, very seriously. I think
> because of the legislature's lack of understanding of the software business
> - you've just fired the first shot in crippling the state's IT economy. I'm
> not saying that out of hyperbole. I'm very serious. Damage has already been
> done, and the legislature HAS to repeal this tax immediately.
>  Here are some additional points:
>  This tax was levied on software and IT services as part of a
> transportation bill. In fact, there are many IT and software-related
> companies in Massachusetts whose employees work from home on a regular
> basis - or the companies are virtual companies where every employee works
> from home. IT services and software companies should not bear the
> responsibility for funding a transportation infrastructure that their
> companies often don't use - especially when compared with other industries
> within the state.
>  This bill was clearly written by someone who does not understand the
> information economy. The bill is confusing, opaque, arcane, and clearly
> written by someone who doesn't understand the IT economy. If the
> legislature wanted to tax IT and software services in Massachusetts, why
> didn't they have the decency to hire a law firm familiar with the industry
> to write the legislation? The fact that the legislature didn't take that
> step clearly proves that the Massachusetts legislature doesn't respect or
> care much about an industry that is vitally important to the future of the
> state economy.
>  The Massachusetts legislature and governmental organizations need to
> decide - do they want Massachusetts to be competitive in the information
> economy? By passing this bill, the answer is clearly NO. Venture capital
> remains a huge driver of investment in IT startups. The Massachusetts
> legislature waved a huge red flag for VCs when they passed this bill. That
> spend your money in Silicon Valley or Chicago or New York City. Do not
> invest in Massachusetts, because the state is being administered by
> legislators who are going to pass regulations hampering IT businesses -
> regulations written by people who don't understand (or care to understand)
> your industry.
>  On a personal level, I'm flabbergasted by this tax. Sure, you can make
> lots of arguments about the revival of small manufacturing and lots of
> other industries. However, the impact of the IT and information economy is
> only going to grow. IT and software will eventually impact almost every
> single industry - agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing, etc. The cities
> and states that create hospitable environments for IT and software
> companies will thrive in the future - the states who tax an IT industry it
> doesn't understand will not thrive.
>  If Massachusetts wants its economy to grow, and the state's economic
> developments are sincere, it needs to do everything it can to increase the
> growth of the IT industry and IT investments within the state. This tax is
> the wrong idea at the wrong time.
>  Please take this seriously and repeal the IT services tax immediately.
>  Sincerely,
>  Jeff Rutherford
> PO Box 714
> Conway, MA 01341
> 413-475-0087
>  jeffrutherford at gmail.com
>  G+ <https://plus.google.com/117757910488771719712> I Twitter<https://twitter.com/JeffRutherford>
>  I Blog <http://jeffrutherford.com/> I LinkedIn<http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=121886>
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