COVID-19 House Response: House passes legislation to move Mass. tax filing deadline and support municipal governments and local restaurants

On March 27, House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo along with his colleagues in the House of Representatives passed legislation to move the individual tax filing and payment deadline, support municipal government operations, and allow alcohol sales for take-out or delivery at restaurants. 

“As the COVID-19 public health crisis continues to evolve, the House responded again today 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). “Thank you to Chair Michlewitz and Chair O’Day for their leadership on these important issues.”

“Through this trying time, I am proud that the House is enacting policies that will have a direct positive impact on our residents, communities and local businesses,” said Representative RoseLee Vincent (D-Revere).  “I thank Speaker DeLeo and Chairman Michlewitz for bringing forth this legislation, which I am thrilled to support and happy to say will make this difficult time a little easier for everyone in our great Commonwealth.”

The legislation would extend the individual state tax filing and payment deadline from April 15 to July 15.

The legislation includes the following provisions.

• Permits establishments licensed to sell alcohol for on-premises consumption to sell wine and beer via delivery and take-out provided the wine or beer is sold in the same transaction as a purchase of food and in a sealed container.

• Modifies local permitting processes, extending municipal tax deadlines, and allowing municipalities to extend property tax exemptions and deferrals.

• Allows municipalities to activate qualified workers by suspending the cap on hours and compensation for certain retired employees for hours worked during the state of emergency.

 “This relief package will give administrative and economic relief to our restaurants, our cities and towns, and to the taxpayers of the Commonwealth,” said Representative Aaron Michlewitz, Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Ways & Means (D-Boston). “As we continue to face the day to day effects of COVID-19, it is vital that we do all that we can to offer assistance to those in need.”

“The bill has several provisions that give towns and municipalities the flexibility they need to allow for extending time frames for town meetings and assessing some kind of temporary leniency with paying taxes and late fees,” said Representative O’Day, Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government (D-West Boylston). “I applaud the many adjustments that are addressed in this bill during these very trying times.”

The bill will now go to the Senate.

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