Below is a press release from State Rep. Dave Robertson:
BOSTON, MA — With the state-wide business confidence surging to near highs on positive consumer outlooks and vaccine distribution, Representative Robertson and the House of Representatives passed legislation aimed at freezing unemployment tax rates for state businesses and creating a COVID-19 emergency sick time program. The legislation also fixed an issue in which small businesses tax deductions under the federal Paycheck Protection Program guidelines for the 2020 filing year.
“Though I am still frustrated by the lack of easy access to vaccines in our area, and have been calling for use of the Shiners auditorium with my state and local colleagues, the state is making grounds with our total number of fully vaccinated people. We are approaching a million and a half vaccinated individuals and businesses are primed and raring to go,” said Representative Robertson. “By freezing the unemployment insurance rate hikes, and allowing small businesses the same deductions that the federal government offered to big business, we are protecting our own and I know they’ll use the savings to return to pre-pandemic levels of prosperity.”
As unemployment spiked from the pandemic, it was projected that yearly unemployment insurance rates would have spiked over 300 dollars on average per employee under the typical non-pandemic processes. Instead of such a spike occurring, the legislation froze unemployment rates for the entirety of 2021 and issued bonds to cover the shortfall of the unemployment system.
The bill also addressed a major concern faced by small business owners with regards to small business purchases under the PPP programs as Massachusetts tax code breaks from federal tax law when it comes to sole proprietors, LLC’s, and other small businesses. Many such operations using PPP money to purchase necessary equipment and supplies normally found to be tax-deductible operating under pressure due to uncertain guidelines and deadlines. The bill rectifies the split, allowing small businesses to deduct their investment in continued operations and streamlining the tax code.
The final section of the bill, establishing a fund to cover sick-leave for employees infected by COVID, taking time to receive a vaccination, or to help a family member who fell ill or needs assistance getting dosages is still under debate following the Governor’s veto over administrative differences.
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