Harmful Business Laws Still Alive After Latest Legislative Session

Date: April 06, 2016

Legislators failed to abolish the estate tax and other laws bad for small business

Harmful Business Laws Still Alive After Latest Legislative Session

You can’t always get what you want.

Such is the case for Massachusetts small business owners as some business-friendly bills were “sent off to a study” for the remainder of this session, which means there is no chance they will pass this session.

One of the most important bills sent to die would have set a training wage for new employees. Often, these new employees are young people who do not have any prior work experience, NFIB/Massachusetts State Director Bill Vernon said. Because of the extra time and resources it takes to train new employees, it isn’t fair to business owners to pay these workers a full wage during the training period, he said.

The bill also encourages teen employment, which is an important component for a thriving state economy, Vernon said.

“That experience of having a job, showing up, budgeting a paycheck and working with others is important for those workers,” Vernon said.

Two House bills that would have eliminated the corporate minimum tax were also killed for the session. This tax is particularly harmful to start-ups and fledgling businesses because it charges them $456 to all businesses regardless of their profit margin. It’s discouraging to see this bill die once again because NFIB files it every year, Vernon said.

“It’s one of those taxes that’s particularly irritable,” he said. “It’s one of the most disliked taxes by our members.”

House Bill 2612 and Senate Bill 1478 would have abolished the estate tax in Massachusetts, but they were also sent off to a study for the remainder of the session. The estate tax is one of many examples of how Massachusetts’ law creates a hostile environment for business owners, Vernon said. Thirty-one states do not have an estate tax, according to The Heritage Foundation.

“In many ways, Massachusetts is out of the mainstream,” Vernon said.

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