The House of Representatives has approved a comprehensive economic development bill containing $666 million in state borrowing to enhance economic opportunities throughout the Commonwealth.
House approves $666 million economic development bill
Representative Crocker secures $225,000 for Barnstable Coastal Resiliency Center
BOSTON – The House of Representatives has approved a comprehensive economic development bill containing $666 million in state borrowing to enhance economic opportunities throughout the Commonwealth.
An additional $116.9 million in borrowing authorizations are included in the bill to fund a variety of local projects. State Representative Will Crocker, R-Centerville, supported the bill and was able to successfully secure $225,000 worth of funding to go towards a study and business plan for the Applied Climate/Coastal Resiliency Center in Barnstable. “I am very happy that the House approved this funding. It is imperative that we plan and act now to make sure our coastlines are protected from the effects of our changing environment. Furthermore, the Economic Development bill facilitates projects in our cities and towns that will promote and escalate businesses. This is good for the tourism and hospitality industry on the Cape, which is one of the largest economic drivers in the region,” said Representative Crocker.
In addition to funding local projects, the Economic Development bill would allow Massachusetts residents to receive a temporary reprieve from the state sales tax for the first time since 2015, under a House proposal designating a two-day sales tax holiday on August 11 and 12, beginning in 2019.
Representative Crocker supported the proposal, which was adopted by the House of Representatives on a 124-18 vote as part of a comprehensive economic development bond bill on July 10. “The House has taken the first step in making a Sales Tax Holiday an annual event. I hope that the Senate will see the economic benefits to this action and will follow suit.” The tax-free weekend must still be approved by the Senate and signed by Governor Charlie Baker before it can take effect.
House Bill 4714 would waive the state sales tax for purchases made on August 11 or 12 on most items costing less than $2,500. Certain items would still be taxable on those two days, including telecommunications services, tobacco and marijuana products, motor vehicles, and meals.
In addition to the sales tax holiday, House Bill 4714 establishes an apprenticeship tax credit for businesses that hire and train new employees in high demand fields, including healthcare, manufacturing, and information technology. Employers who provide pipeline training to the unemployed would also be eligible for performance-based grants offered through the Workforce Training Trust Fund (WTTF).
The economic development bond bill now moves to the Senate for further action.