The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance has sent a letter to Governor Charlie Baker, Senate President Karen Spilka, and Speaker Robert DeLeo outlining several proposed temporary measures to help taxpayers and employers deal with the economic impact of the government’s COVID-19 response.
MassFiscal feels there are some possible steps that can be taken to help Massachusetts taxpayers and small businesses weather this crisis and ease people’s lives as they deal with the changes that have come with implementation of social distancing policies. These policies will signal to the taxpayers, small business owners, and workers that our state leaders understand the predicament many people now face as we navigate these unprecedented times.
The letter calls for three specific policies to be implemented:
- Temporarily suspend the meals tax for the foreseeable future to encourage patronage at local restaurants that have been forced to suspend in-facility dining.
- Extend the state tax filing deadline to mirror the federal extension. This will allow a much-needed grace period for those who have been impacted by this crisis and owe money.
- Temporarily suspend the sales tax on ecommerce purchases to promote social distancing and ensure families can get the goods they need without having to leave their homes.
“If State House leaders do not start to act, the next phase of this economic depression will not just be high rates of unemployment, but inflation, and shortage of supplies,” stated Paul D. Craney, spokesperson for Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.
“The refusal of state leaders to push back the state tax filing deadline to match the federal extension is a particular issue that is causing great uncertainty for a lot of people. State leaders need to immediately demonstrate that they have skin in this game, too. Employers, and taxpayers are being asked to be patient, tighten their belts, and state government must follow,” continued Craney.
“The economy can fall into depression quicker than a plunging elevator, but building it back up is an arduous, step by step process. Governor Baker, Senate President Spilka, and Speaker DeLeo must balance the health of our citizens with the health of our state economy. Our letter outlines three simple, temporary steps that can be taken that will not endanger public health, will encourage economic activity, and ease peoples worries as they try to deal with this crisis as best they can. All three should be implemented immediately,” concluded Craney.
A full copy of the letter is available here.