Senate rejects proposal to reduce business filing fee

Image: Thinkstock

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, MAY 19, 2015….The Massachusetts Senate on Tuesday rejected a Republican proposal to reduce a filing fee paid by limited liability companies with six employees or fewer.

Senators voted 12-27 against Sen. Bruce Tarr’s amendment to bring the filing fee down to $250 from $500.

Supporters said the change would help small business growth and noted senators on a statewide listening tour earlier this year heard from small business owners who described the fee as onerous. Opponents said the change needs to be studied further.

Sen. Karen Spilka, the chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, said she had filed similar bills because she supports lowering the tax burden for small limited liability companies (LLCs). But the proposal is a “major change” in tax policy that should be vetted, she added.

The Republican amendment would also cost between $40 million and $50 million, putting the proposed Senate budget being debated this week out of balance, according to Spilka (D-Ashland).

Tarr, a Gloucester Republican, said lawmakers are already considering tax changes in the Senate version of the fiscal 2016 budget.

“This particular change relates to the issue of small employers with six people or less and facing the highest filing fee in the country,” he said.

Joining the six Republicans in voting for the amendment were Sens. Anne Gobi (D-Spencer), Kathleen O’Connor Ives (D-Newburyport), Eileen Donoghue (D-Lowell), Jennifer Flanagan (D-Leominster), Joan Lovely (D-Salem), and Michael Moore (D-Millbury).

Following the vote, the Senate voted 29-11 to freeze the income tax rate at 5.15 percent to help pay for an expansion of the earned income tax credit and an increase in personal income tax exemptions.

Copyright 2015 State House News Service

Comments are closed.