Grassroots Movements Growing To Fight Massachusetts Tech Tax


After a disjointed start, Massachusetts tech businesses are beginning to rally together to fight the newly implemented tax on software services in the state. Two new movements have started, one to place an injunction on the tax and the other to rally more legislators to the repeal effort.

The Spark Coalition is a group of small-business technology companies working with attorney Scott Foster, a partner at Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas in Springfield, Mass., to get the issue before the courts. Foster said that the tax could be challenged on the basis that it is too vague for implementation.

The group, a pending nonprofit, has been attending the Department of Revenue focus groups, collaborating with groups leading the charge on the ballot initiatives and rallying business owners to their cause.

 

[Related: Mass. State Rep: 10 Reasons I Opposed The Tech Tax, And Still Do]

"We want to be able to provide an emergency network that can inform and help in a way that hasn't been done before," said Joe Baz, president of the Spark Coalition and founder and CEO of Above The Fold Design in Cambridge, Mass. Baz said that business owners are too busy running their business to scour all of the bills in the legislature, especially ones pertaining to transportation, for taxes that could affect their bottom line. The Spark Coalition intends to help fill that void.

Baz said he doesn't know yet if the Spark Coalition will officially be the plaintiff behind the court case against the tax, but he said the group will continue to fight alongside leaders of the ballot initiative and legislature repeal movement by Sen. Karen Spilka.

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