MFA NEWS SCAN FEBRUARY 23, 2015

MFA NEWS SCAN FEBRUARY 23, 2015


- Friday, February 27, 2015



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MA BUDGET SHORTFALL PREDICTED

Predictions for next year’s fiscal budget, which begins July 1, call for a $1.5 billion shortfall, which will force the Baker administration and the Legislature to make some tough choices on how to make up for the difference.  The Governor’s budget chief, Secretary of Administration & Finance Kristen Lepore agreed with the prediction, stating that state spending is outpacing revenue, and is unsustainable at the current rate.  The Governor’s version of the budget is scheduled to be released March 4, and is not expected to not raise taxes or fees or tap into the state’s rainy day fund, according to the Secretary.  Soon thereafter the House will release its version of the budget on April 9, which may or may not propose new or higher taxes and/or fees.

 

MA HOUSE APPROVES COMMITTEE, LEADERSHIP POSITIONS

On Thursday, February 26 the MA House approved its leadership and Committee chairmanship positions (click here to view the complete listing).  Chairs on some of the more relevant Committees to our industry include:

·       Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester), Chair, Community Development & Small Business Committee;

·       Representative Jennifer Benson (D-Lunenburg), Chair, Consumer Protection & Professional  Licensure Committee;

·       Representative Paul A. Schmid, III (D-Westport), Chair, Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Committee;

·       Representative John W. Scibak (D-South Hadley), Chair, Labor & Workforce Development Committee;

·       Representative Thomas A Golden, Jr. (D-Lowell), Chair, Telecommunications, Utilities  & Energy Committee.

 

CALIFORNIA BAG BAN ON HOLD

A statewide law passed last year in California to ban the distribution of plastic bags by businesses was scheduled to go into effect July 1, however that ban has now been put on hold, since opponents to the ban have qualified a question to go before the voters on next November’s ballot to recall the bag prohibition.  On Tuesday, February 24 the California secretary of state announced that opponents had secured enough signatures to put the ban to a referendum in November 2016, meaning the ban is effectively on hold until then.  According to the plastic bag industry group the American Progressive Bag Alliance, more than 800,000 signatures were submitted and the county registrars office verified that more than 500,000 were valid.  More than 100 California cities and towns have banned bags.

 

Irs QUICK TAX TIPS

·        Employers who claim the Work Opportunity Tax Credit have until April 30 to provide a pre-screening form for certain groups of qualifying workers.  Notice 2015-13 has more information;

·        Report suspected tax scams to the IRS;

·        Find 2015 filing season Affordable Care Act tax tips on IRS.gov.

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MFA NEWS SCAN FEBRUARY 23, 2015


- Friday, February 27, 2015



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