Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Greater Boston Chamber Welcomes Reforms Included in House Budget


The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce today welcomed tax reform and municipal health care reform provisions included in the state budget released this morning by the House Ways and Means Committee.
The budget contained two tax reforms supported by the Chamber:
  •  An incentive for the state to shorten the tax audit cycle by waiving certain penalties charged to businesses if the state takes more than 18 months to conduct an audit, and
  •  A requirement that the state post monthly reports on proposed tax policies online before taking any action on them.
“These reforms will help address real challenges faced by businesses in Massachusetts,” said Paul Guzzi, president and CEO of the Chamber.  “Shortening the audit cycle will help businesses avoid the significant expense that can accompany lengthy audits, while posting tax policies online monthly will give the business community an adequate opportunity to provide input before those policies are finalized.”

The House budget also included provisions enabling municipalities to change health plan features such as co-pays and deductibles without having to go through the collective bargaining process, a reform supported by the Chamber and a broad-based coalition, Mass Reform First.

“Giving local governments authority over the design of public employee health care plans will provide much-needed relief to cities and towns, where healthcare costs are wreaking havoc on municipal budgets,” added Guzzi.  “We are pleased that the Ways and Means Committee has taken this important step toward controlling health care costs and preserving municipal services.”

The Chamber will continue to advocate for the tax and municipal health care reforms included in the House budget, as well as for the range of proposals in its 2011 Public Policy Agenda, which is designed to make Massachusetts a more competitive place to do business and create jobs.  For more information on the Chamber and its Public Policy Agenda, please visit www.bostonchamber.com.

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