House Passes Legislation To Support Municipalities & Restaurants

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BOSTON – House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo and Massachusetts House
members passed legislation last Friday to extend the individual tax filing and payment deadline.

The legislation also makes changes in order to support municipal government operations, and to allow alcohol sales for take-out or delivery at restaurants to support their businesses.

The bill will now go to the Senate.

“As the COVID-19 public health crisis continues to evolve, the House responded again last week to the growing needs of our communities, our businesses, and our residents by easing burdens related to local permitting, extending the state’s tax deadline and giving restaurants more
business opportunities,” said Speaker DeLeo (D – Winthrop).

The current state tax filing and payment deadline is April 15, and this legislation extends the individual filing and payment deadline to July 15. This would match the federal extension approved on March 20.

“In response to constituent requests, I had filed HD4990 ‘An Act providing tax filing relief due to COVID-19 to extend our state income tax to July 15th with 29 co-sponsors, and was very pleased that the Governor and legislative leadership agreed the next day to move our tax filing date.” said Rep. Carmine Gentile (D-Sudbury).

“We heard loud and clear from our constituents that it was essential for tax day to be moved, and I’m grateful the Speaker, Senate President, and Governor worked together to ease the economic burden for the people of Massachusetts,” said Rep. Maria Robinson (D-Framingham).

The legislation also includes the following provisions.

● Extends municipal tax deadlines, modifies local permitting processes, and allows municipalities to extend property tax exemptions and deferrals.

● Suspends the cap on hours and compensation for certain retired employees for hours worked during the state of emergency. This change allows municipalities to activate qualified workers.

● Permits wine and beer sales via delivery and take-out, for those establishments licensed to sell alcohol for on-premises consumption. This sale is allowed, provided the wine or beer is in a sealed container, and that it is sold in the same transaction as a purchase of food.

“It is critical that we address the rapidly changing needs of our communities and that we adapt to evolving realities. This legislation will assist with some of the financial burdens from this health emergency. We need continued swift action to respond to this pandemic, said Rep. Jack Patrick Lewis (D-Framingham).


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