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(The Eagle Tribune)   Massachusetts will repeal new tax on software because companies that buy and sell software don't want to be taxed   (eagletribune.com) divider line 58
    More: Stupid, Massachusetts, gasoline taxes, House Ways and Means, Haverhill, sales taxes, Robert DeLeo, overly broad, legislators  
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1572 clicks; posted to Politics » on 13 Sep 2013 at 10:37 AM (44 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-13 10:39:03 AM
Isn't software already covered by sales taxes?
 
2013-09-13 10:43:01 AM

GoldSpider: Isn't software already covered by sales taxes?


Not in a state where sales are about the only thing that aren't taxed.
 
2013-09-13 10:45:01 AM
From what I've heard, the reason they're repealing it is because it's written in a really confusing way, such that nobody's sure what exactly will get taxed.
 
2013-09-13 10:49:22 AM

GoldSpider: Isn't software already covered by sales taxes?


Yes.  The new tax extended that to computer services, not just sales of pre-packaged software.
 
2013-09-13 10:52:53 AM
Do you think this will work for homeowners and property tax?
 
2013-09-13 10:53:43 AM
d6673sr63mbv7.cloudfront.net
" . . . we need to be promoting job development and economic growth in the area, not squashing it."- State Rep. Diana DiZoglio (D)
d6673sr63mbv7.cloudfront.net
"Business groups that supported this early on said they took another look at it and felt it could be damaging to the commonwealth's reputation as an innovation center . . .  we're responding to that."  State Rep. Brian Dempsey, (D)

Tax Cuts for Businesses!  It's different when we do it.
 
2013-09-13 11:09:30 AM
Yeah, businesses shouldn't have to pay taxes like the people who buy their stuff.
 
2013-09-13 11:11:07 AM
I mean--conservatives tend to be so overreactionary with taxes and raising taxes--and I've almost never seen a democrat propose a tax hike that was really that intense or business killing. You can raise taxes in places like California or Massachusetts because people want to farking live there.

But this tax seems like the first and only example I've seen that just seems unnecessary and might actually damage business. It's not like any of these tech companies are that heavily tied to Boston so that they couldn't pick up and move into New Hampshire or Maine. I mean, fark, it's not even that far of a move.
 
2013-09-13 11:13:48 AM
People rarely read the article, nevermind the comments, before pointing/biatching, but for the few who are actually wondering why the tax law was bad:

http://www.fastcolabs.com/3015446/why-were-so-frustrated-about-the-m as sachusetts-software-tax

There's also this parody to show how insane the confusing law would be if applied to another industry:

http://repealtheitservicetax.com/2013/08/02/plumbing-and-carpentry-s er vice-tax-parody/
 
2013-09-13 11:16:01 AM

Arkanaut: From what I've heard, the reason they're repealing it is because it's written in a really confusing way, such that nobody's sure what exactly will get taxed.


I could see that. State purchasers are notorious.

"What are you buying?"
"It's a Storage Area Network."
"Is it software?"
"Not really, it's an array of hard drives that..."
"But is it software?"
"Well there's software that will come with it for management, but..."
"You have to tell the vendor that you can only buy the hardware, we'll have to purchase the software separately through our state reseller."
"That's insane, they will never do that. The hardware is worthless without the software, they come as one."
"Then we'll have to see if our software vendor - Ted's House of Software and Used Stereo Equipment - can purchase the SAN from the vendor for us."
"No, they can't...listen, NetApp is custom-building this for us. It's a $2 million piece of equipment. It comes with an engineer who will live with us for the next 6 months...he's rented an apartment and everything. This project is so far above you the pen I just dropped achieved terminal velocity. You have zero concept of what this project is about or hopes to accomplish, let alone the dozens upon dozens of problems you will create for me and my team if you will not allow us to deal with the vendor directly. I am now down on my knees, begging....please show an ounce....one single mole....of common sense."
"If it's software it has to go through the vendor. Call this number and ask for Bob...he might be fixing a customers transmission so let it ring 20 or 30 times. He'll be your liason with this NetworkApp place."
 
2013-09-13 11:16:11 AM

Zeb Hesselgresser: [d6673sr63mbv7.cloudfront.net image 160x240]
" . . . we need to be promoting job development and economic growth in the area, not squashing it."- State Rep. Diana DiZoglio (D)
[d6673sr63mbv7.cloudfront.net image 160x186]
"Business groups that supported this early on said they took another look at it and felt it could be damaging to the commonwealth's reputation as an innovation center . . .  we're responding to that."  State Rep. Brian Dempsey, (D)

Tax Cuts for Businesses!  It's different when we do it.


Clearly they're in the pockets of Big Software.
 
2013-09-13 11:20:40 AM
techcitement.com

Thinks programming should be treated like a religion for tax purposes.
 
2013-09-13 11:23:42 AM

Zeb Hesselgresser: " . . . we need to be promoting job development and economic growth in the area, not squashing it."- State Rep. Diana DiZoglio (D)

"Business groups that supported this early on said they took another look at it and felt it could be damaging to the commonwealth's reputation as an innovation center . . .  we're responding to that."  State Rep. Brian Dempsey, (D)

Tax Cuts for Businesses!  It's different when we do it.


It's not a tax cut for businesses, moron. It's a sales tax paid by you, the consumer.
 
2013-09-13 11:27:14 AM

TimonC346: It's not like any of these tech companies are that heavily tied to Boston so that they couldn't pick up and move into New Hampshire or Maine. I mean, fark, it's not even that far of a move.


I can't speak for the wisom of this law, but it is unlikely that the tax woud exceed relocation costs, even over a couple of years. I work for a very large REIT that has a massive presence in Kendall Square and the tech corridor, and this tax didn't come up as a potential impact on leasing in meetings.

So there may very well be reasons for repealing the tax, but worrying about businesses moving elsewhere isn't one of them, for us, at least.

Also, there isn't exactly a glut of appropriate leasable space in Southern NH and Maine that could absorb an influx, and new space takes a while to come online.
 
2013-09-13 11:35:59 AM

jayhawk88: Arkanaut: From what I've heard, the reason they're repealing it is because it's written in a really confusing way, such that nobody's sure what exactly will get taxed.

I could see that. State purchasers are notorious.

"What are you buying?"
"It's a Storage Area Network."
"Is it software?"
"Not really, it's an array of hard drives that..."
"But is it software?"
"Well there's software that will come with it for management, but..."
"You have to tell the vendor that you can only buy the hardware, we'll have to purchase the software separately through our state reseller."
"That's insane, they will never do that. The hardware is worthless without the software, they come as one."
"Then we'll have to see if our software vendor - Ted's House of Software and Used Stereo Equipment - can purchase the SAN from the vendor for us."
"No, they can't...listen, NetApp is custom-building this for us. It's a $2 million piece of equipment. It comes with an engineer who will live with us for the next 6 months...he's rented an apartment and everything. This project is so far above you the pen I just dropped achieved terminal velocity. You have zero concept of what this project is about or hopes to accomplish, let alone the dozens upon dozens of problems you will create for me and my team if you will not allow us to deal with the vendor directly. I am now down on my knees, begging....please show an ounce....one single mole....of common sense."
"If it's software it has to go through the vendor. Call this number and ask for Bob...he might be fixing a customers transmission so let it ring 20 or 30 times. He'll be your liason with this NetworkApp place."


There's a very easy fix to that.  Hardware costs 10k heres the software for free.
 
2013-09-13 11:36:41 AM

TNel: jayhawk88: Arkanaut: From what I've heard, the reason they're repealing it is because it's written in a really confusing way, such that nobody's sure what exactly will get taxed.

I could see that. State purchasers are notorious.

"What are you buying?"
"It's a Storage Area Network."
"Is it software?"
"Not really, it's an array of hard drives that..."
"But is it software?"
"Well there's software that will come with it for management, but..."
"You have to tell the vendor that you can only buy the hardware, we'll have to purchase the software separately through our state reseller."
"That's insane, they will never do that. The hardware is worthless without the software, they come as one."
"Then we'll have to see if our software vendor - Ted's House of Software and Used Stereo Equipment - can purchase the SAN from the vendor for us."
"No, they can't...listen, NetApp is custom-building this for us. It's a $2 million piece of equipment. It comes with an engineer who will live with us for the next 6 months...he's rented an apartment and everything. This project is so far above you the pen I just dropped achieved terminal velocity. You have zero concept of what this project is about or hopes to accomplish, let alone the dozens upon dozens of problems you will create for me and my team if you will not allow us to deal with the vendor directly. I am now down on my knees, begging....please show an ounce....one single mole....of common sense."
"If it's software it has to go through the vendor. Call this number and ask for Bob...he might be fixing a customers transmission so let it ring 20 or 30 times. He'll be your liason with this NetworkApp place."

There's a very easy fix to that.  Hardware costs 10k 2 million heres the software for free.

 
2013-09-13 11:37:47 AM

monoski: Do you think this will work for homeowners and property tax?


A lot harder for property owners to leave the state.
 
2013-09-13 11:41:42 AM

radioshack: Zeb Hesselgresser: " . . . we need to be promoting job development and economic growth in the area, not squashing it."- State Rep. Diana DiZoglio (D)

"Business groups that supported this early on said they took another look at it and felt it could be damaging to the commonwealth's reputation as an innovation center . . .  we're responding to that."  State Rep. Brian Dempsey, (D)

Tax Cuts for Businesses!  It's different when we do it.

It's not a tax cut for businesses, moron. It's a sales tax paid by you, the consumer.


Right.  That's why they rejected it, they were looking out for me. Where can I thank them?
 
2013-09-13 11:42:46 AM

TNel: There's a very easy fix to that.  Hardware costs 10k heres the software for free.


See, that implies the person reading such a quote would posess logic and reason, both of which are expressly forbidden by the job descriptions of Purchasing employees.
 
2013-09-13 11:44:52 AM

Zeb Hesselgresser: radioshack: Zeb Hesselgresser: " . . . we need to be promoting job development and economic growth in the area, not squashing it."- State Rep. Diana DiZoglio (D)

"Business groups that supported this early on said they took another look at it and felt it could be damaging to the commonwealth's reputation as an innovation center . . .  we're responding to that."  State Rep. Brian Dempsey, (D)

Tax Cuts for Businesses!  It's different when we do it.

It's not a tax cut for businesses, moron. It's a sales tax paid by you, the consumer.

Right.  That's why they rejected it, they were looking out for me. Where can I thank them?


Instead of speculating on what liberals think about taxes and why they think that way, why don't you tell us what the policy should be?
 
2013-09-13 11:49:20 AM

Zeb Hesselgresser: radioshack: Zeb Hesselgresser: " . . . we need to be promoting job development and economic growth in the area, not squashing it."- State Rep. Diana DiZoglio (D)

"Business groups that supported this early on said they took another look at it and felt it could be damaging to the commonwealth's reputation as an innovation center . . .  we're responding to that."  State Rep. Brian Dempsey, (D)

Tax Cuts for Businesses!  It's different when we do it.

It's not a tax cut for businesses, moron. It's a sales tax paid by you, the consumer.

Right.  That's why they rejected it, they were looking out for me. Where can I thank them?


They were looking out for themselves by trying to keep the cost of their product down, which also benefits consumers like you. If you'd like to thank them the names of those involved are in the article. It doesn't require much intelligence to see how the repeal of this law would benefit Massachusetts. Hell even the commie lib politicians in the article have figured out it was stupid.
 
2013-09-13 12:09:34 PM
Oh I fully believe the savings would be passed down to the consumer. Here we go with trickle down again. We already know what is trickeling down.  It's a 2 story out house and we are on the bottom floor. Take your voodoo and begone!
 
2013-09-13 12:12:33 PM
Arkanaut:

Instead of speculating on what liberals think about taxes and why they think that way, why don't you tell us what the policy should be?

Because I couldn't give a lesser shiat about Mass. and their software tax.  I'm strictly here to laugh.

But since you asked, when the people of Mass. decide you are over reaching on taxes, you're probably over reaching on taxes.

This what's called a teachable moment.
 
2013-09-13 12:13:05 PM

wildcardjack: GoldSpider: Isn't software already covered by sales taxes?

Not in a state where sales are about the only thing that aren't taxed.


So apparently you've never been to Massachusetts. The only sales that aren't taxed are food and clothing. Necessities. Everything else is taxed at least 6.25%. More if it's alcohol or tobacco.
 
2013-09-13 12:13:19 PM

DjangoStonereaver: Thinks programming should be treated like a religion for tax purposes.


Isn't he dead yet?
 
2013-09-13 12:16:46 PM

HotIgneous Intruder: Yeah, businesses shouldn't have to pay taxes like the people who buy their stuff.


The law wasn't a tax on a product it was a tax on a service essentially. It covered modifying premade software, presumably to tax things like buying wordpress themes, but in practice since EVERYTHING is modifying premade software these days in some form of another is essentially was a tax on of building software. No other services are taxed. If you paint a hour there's not a 5% sales tax in that price.
 
2013-09-13 12:18:02 PM

Rihlsul: There's also this parody to show how insane the confusing law would be if applied to another industry:


if that is even in the neighborhood of being right -- yikes.
 
2013-09-13 12:26:03 PM
Were they not taxed like every other business before?

Way to strangle your egg-laying hen, Massholes.
 
2013-09-13 12:29:54 PM

Zeb Hesselgresser: Arkanaut:

Instead of speculating on what liberals think about taxes and why they think that way, why don't you tell us what the policy should be?

Because I couldn't give a lesser shiat about Mass. and their software tax.  I'm strictly here to laugh.

But since you asked, when the people of Mass. decide you are over reaching on taxes, you're probably over reaching on taxes.

This what's called a teachable moment.


So what you're saying is, they listened to their voters and learned their lesson? Hilarious.
 
2013-09-13 12:40:45 PM

super_grass: Were they not taxed like every other business before?

Way to strangle your egg-laying hen, Massholes.



Again, it might very well be a very stupidly implemented tax, but it's not going to have a bottom-line impact on businesses to the point that they would consider moving out of state. If it was, my company would be troubled by the financial impact on companies, as our future leasing rates would be impacted.

Tech companies, really, really, REALLY want to be in Kendall Square and elsewhere in MA,  and are happily paying office rents that make this tax look like a rounding error.
 
2013-09-13 12:57:49 PM

Arkanaut: Zeb Hesselgresser:

But since you asked, when the people of Mass. decide you are over reaching on taxes, you're probably over reaching on taxes.

This what's called a teachable moment.

So what you're saying is, they listened to their voters and learned their lesson? Hilarious.


Are you implying they were influenced by corporate cash? Okay, but that goes against all my Fark teachings.
 
2013-09-13 01:04:39 PM

Zeb Hesselgresser: Arkanaut:

Instead of speculating on what liberals think about taxes and why they think that way, why don't you tell us what the policy should be?

Because I couldn't give a lesser shiat about Mass. and their software tax.  I'm strictly here to laugh.

But since you asked, when the people of Mass. decide you are over reaching on taxes, you're probably over reaching on taxes.

This what's called a teachable moment.


So many Total Farkers were defending this tax last week.
 
2013-09-13 01:05:43 PM

Cubicle Jockey: TimonC346: It's not like any of these tech companies are that heavily tied to Boston so that they couldn't pick up and move into New Hampshire or Maine. I mean, fark, it's not even that far of a move.

I can't speak for the wisom of this law, but it is unlikely that the tax woud exceed relocation costs, even over a couple of years. I work for a very large REIT that has a massive presence in Kendall Square and the tech corridor, and this tax didn't come up as a potential impact on leasing in meetings.

So there may very well be reasons for repealing the tax, but worrying about businesses moving elsewhere isn't one of them, for us, at least.

Also, there isn't exactly a glut of appropriate leasable space in Southern NH and Maine that could absorb an influx, and new space takes a while to come online.


I'd argue there probably is in southern NH--maybe not southern Maine. I'm thinking Portsmouth, Concord, Manchester, Nashua--it could happen. Or so I supposed. It's really, really interesting that you guys didn't even discuss it--definitely puts it into a much more realistic perspective.
 
2013-09-13 01:08:42 PM

Zeb Hesselgresser: Arkanaut: Zeb Hesselgresser:

But since you asked, when the people of Mass. decide you are over reaching on taxes, you're probably over reaching on taxes.

This what's called a teachable moment.

So what you're saying is, they listened to their voters and learned their lesson? Hilarious.

Are you implying they were influenced by corporate cash? Okay, but that goes against all my Fark teachings.


I was actually trying to say that what you came here to "laugh" about isn't that funny, but now I'm not sure what you're trying to say.  Just going to back out of this thread now...
 
2013-09-13 01:13:43 PM

BMFPitt: monoski: Do you think this will work for homeowners and property tax?

A lot harder for property owners to leave the state.


Fox news just did a segment about a week back that poor people need to move to where the jobs are so it can't be that hard. Amirite?
 
2013-09-13 01:19:29 PM

Cubicle Jockey: super_grass: Were they not taxed like every other business before?

Way to strangle your egg-laying hen, Massholes.


Again, it might very well be a very stupidly implemented tax, but it's not going to have a bottom-line impact on businesses to the point that they would consider moving out of state. If it was, my company would be troubled by the financial impact on companies, as our future leasing rates would be impacted.

Tech companies, really, really, REALLY want to be in Kendall Square and elsewhere in MA,  and are happily paying office rents that make this tax look like a rounding error.


Shhh... Don't spoil the morons' assumptions. Their unhinged, uninformed rants help the day go by quickly. : )
 
2013-09-13 01:44:58 PM

Nemo's Brother: Zeb Hesselgresser: Arkanaut:

Instead of speculating on what liberals think about taxes and why they think that way, why don't you tell us what the policy should be?

Because I couldn't give a lesser shiat about Mass. and their software tax.  I'm strictly here to laugh.

But since you asked, when the people of Mass. decide you are over reaching on taxes, you're probably over reaching on taxes.

This what's called a teachable moment.

So many Total Farkers were defending this tax last week.


They were revving up to go full "internet holy warrior" to defend the tax before MA decided to go "meh".
 
2013-09-13 01:48:30 PM

Cubicle Jockey: super_grass: Were they not taxed like every other business before?

Way to strangle your egg-laying hen, Massholes.


Again, it might very well be a very stupidly implemented tax, but it's not going to have a bottom-line impact on businesses to the point that they would consider moving out of state. If it was, my company would be troubled by the financial impact on companies, as our future leasing rates would be impacted.

Tech companies, really, really, REALLY want to be in Kendall Square and elsewhere in MA,  and are happily paying office rents that make this tax look like a rounding error.


If 6.25% is a rounding error then you need to get better software. The tax is on sales of services, which affects business outside of software that run on much lower profit margins.
 
2013-09-13 01:50:09 PM

keylock71: Cubicle Jockey: super_grass: Were they not taxed like every other business before?

Way to strangle your egg-laying hen, Massholes.


Again, it might very well be a very stupidly implemented tax, but it's not going to have a bottom-line impact on businesses to the point that they would consider moving out of state. If it was, my company would be troubled by the financial impact on companies, as our future leasing rates would be impacted.

Tech companies, really, really, REALLY want to be in Kendall Square and elsewhere in MA,  and are happily paying office rents that make this tax look like a rounding error.

Shhh... Don't spoil the morons' assumptions. Their unhinged, uninformed rants help the day go by quickly. : )


Not entirely true.  A one man shop web designer isn't pulling in the dough you think.
 
2013-09-13 01:53:00 PM

Arkanaut: Zeb Hesselgresser: Arkanaut: Zeb Hesselgresser:

But since you asked, when the people of Mass. decide you are over reaching on taxes, you're probably over reaching on taxes.

This what's called a teachable moment.

So what you're saying is, they listened to their voters and learned their lesson? Hilarious.

Are you implying they were influenced by corporate cash? Okay, but that goes against all my Fark teachings.

I was actually trying to say that what you came here to "laugh" about isn't that funny, but now I'm not sure what you're trying to say.  Just going to back out of this thread now...


Did he say he was here to laugh or for the laugh?  Because if it's the latter, it's the closest thing he's made to an honest statement in his history of posting derp.
 
2013-09-13 02:07:28 PM

super_grass: If 6.25% is a rounding error then you need to get better software.


Microsoft pays us six figures in just office rent  at a single location, PER MONTH, and you are thinking they and other similar companies deeply care about a 6.25% tax on a subsection of a subsection of a subsection of their operating cost for that location? To the point that they are going to relocate their offices from being literally across the street from MIT to outside of the state?

Not happening.


I am perfectly willing to concede the tax is stupid, and should be reworked or repealed. But even if they decided to leave it as is, the financial impact is insufficient to warrant incurring relocation costs for affected companies. Tech companies have complex buildout requirements. They can't move on the drop of a hat, even if they didn't mind the early termination penalties on their leases.
 
2013-09-13 02:17:02 PM

super_grass: If 6.25% is a rounding error then you need to get better software. The tax is on sales of services, which affects business outside of software that run on much lower profit margins.



Let me put it another way. "They can always move to New Hampshire" has already been brought up. NH has no sales tax.
If currently having sales taxes on the overwhelming majority of their in-state purchases is not currently sufficient cause for businesses to pack up for greener pastures, why do you believe that this new one that impacts a small fraction will be the straw that breaks the camel's back?

Any other Masshole farkers remember if the "businesses will leave the state" derp occured when we raised the sales tax from 5%? That increase had a much larger aggregate impact on bottom lines..
 
2013-09-13 02:26:37 PM

EvilEgg: Not entirely true. A one man shop web designer isn't pulling in the dough you think.


That would be me. I work out of my home for clients on the web doing websites, largely customizing existing designs/themes. Right now I have no MA based clients but if I wanted to get even 1 client within the state I'd have to register to collect sales tax, report quarterly (even if it was a one time gig), and it would just be a pain, I would simply refuse clients from Massachusetts. I don't need to tax clients outside the state, and freelancers outside the state wouldn't need to tax clients here.
 
2013-09-13 02:38:03 PM
My bigger issue here is that if the law was written so poorly, how did it pass in the first place?  I guess we know who doesn't read what they are doing and just passes "Taxes good!" on a Transportation bill.
 
2013-09-13 03:06:18 PM

monoski: Fox news just did a segment about a week back that poor people need to move to where the jobs are so it can't be that hard. Amirite?


For renters, no.  For software companies (many of which are less than 30min from the NH border already), no.  For property owners, yes.
 
2013-09-13 03:22:26 PM
I know of at least one company who moved their SAP implementation out of Tennessee because it was much cheaper to move it than to pay a similar technology tax in Tennessee on the support renewals.
 
2013-09-13 03:27:08 PM
Too all the people here who are doing simple reactionary biatching - including subby - it helps to know what you are talking about first.  I honestly expected better from this place since we aren't RedState, TheBlaze etc.

There is nothing inherently wrong with taxes, and it is not simply "we don't like paying taxes" that has prompted the backlash.  The way this taxcode was written is insane, and there are far too many scenarios where it is not even clear when taxes should be levied.  In many other cases they would be levied where it made no sense.  IIRC for example you are supposed to tax your client even in cases where you are only UPDATING software for them.  There was a lot to it, and the whole thing is a mess.  Good for them if they are going to repeal it (and maybe pass something better).

Good ideas do not always translate into good bills and this is a prime example.  There was even an article or 2 on the subject that got greenlit here.  Go back in the archives for the last month or 2 and you should find it.  Although I cannot remember if you want to search Politics or Geek but I am leaning towards Geek.
 
2013-09-13 03:27:17 PM

Arkanaut: From what I've heard, the reason they're repealing it is because it's written in a really confusing way, such that nobody's sure what exactly will get taxed.


This is 100% correct. Fast Company Labs has an awesome writeup of the whole thing.

Example of some of the lameness: The tax dept. uses "Floppy Disk Inc." as their "example" company.

ProTip: Tax professionals should not be able to define what software is and isn't.
 
2013-09-13 03:58:53 PM

Curious: Rihlsul: There's also this parody to show how insane the confusing law would be if applied to another industry:

if that is even in the neighborhood of being right -- yikes.


It's spot on for what they were trying to do.
 
2013-09-13 04:16:59 PM

monoski: Do you think this will work for homeowners and property tax?


Yes, but don't expect any police service, or fire service, or schools or anything.
 
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