Mass. Gov.'s Closed-Door Tax Meeting
With pressure building to repeal the controversial software services tax, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick responded this week by holding a closed-door meeting with state legislators and business owners to discuss the issue. But, the meeting's guest list raised questions about just how much the governor is really hearing about the burden the tax, implemented in July, places on the state's IT solution and service providers. Many of the attendees were supporters of the governor: Five of the seven business leaders are involved as leaders of Patrick's various state initiatives in technology, healthcare, education and business development; four have donated to Patrick's election campaigns. Andy Singleton, president of software vendor Assembla, was the only invited executive involved in a company that faces direct implications of the tax. "They need to invite someone who is actually doing the work, not some corporate worker or lawyer," said Carl Rubin, operations manager at software consulting firm Monument Data Solutions, Needham, Mass. "The only way you can understand this is if you talk to the people who do the work."