Taxes and Budget Issues

T taps low bidder for Green Line extension

T taps low bidder for Green Line extension

Price to restart project comes in $237 million below estimate

THE MBTA CHOSE a joint venture led by a Dallas-area contractor that said it would build the long-delayed seven-stop Green Line extension into Somerville and Medford for hundreds of millions less than officials estimated. The winning bid by GLX Constructors, a group of four construction and engineering firms led by Fluor of Irving, Texas, was(...)

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Rosenberg: We’re not done with pot

Rosenberg: We’re not done with pot

Senate president says Legislature could make more changes to marijuana law

SENATE PRESIDENT STANLEY ROSENBERG said the recreational marijuana law will continue to evolve and he foresees the Legislature making several changes a year. “We created a joint standing committee because we know additional questions are going to come back to us over time and we know that because that’s what happened in Colorado,” Rosenberg said(...)

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Airbnb’s smoke and mirrors

Airbnb’s smoke and mirrors

Lawmakers, public shouldn't be duped by company's embrace of taxes in short-term rentals

IN HIS NOVEMBER 8 op-ed in CommonWealth (“Time for state to catch up on Airbnb tax”), Airbnb executive Will Burns raises many excellent points about why it is time for the state to act on the taxation and regulation of short-term rental platforms. It is important, however, that lawmakers and the public see through the(...)

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Time for state to catch up on Airbnb tax

Time for state to catch up on Airbnb tax

Massachusetts is leaving money on the table

STARTING NOVEMBER 1, New Hampshire became the fifth and latest New England state to allow Airbnb to collect taxes on behalf of its community of hosts and guests, and remit that revenue to the state. The Granite State will join Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont – as well as more than 300 other jurisdictions(...)

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Pot board wants $5 million more

Pot board wants $5 million more

‘No fluff’ budget for FY18 is $7.5 million, lower than projected

THE STATE’S CANNABIS Control Commission has asked lawmakers for another $5.2 million for the remainder of the fiscal year on top of the $2.3 million that was already set aside to get the regulatory structure for legal marijuana up and running in time for the launch target of July 1 for retail pot shops to(...)

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House, Senate end bickering, sign budget deal

House, Senate end bickering, sign budget deal

Bill bans bump stocks, provides $3m for gang initiative

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE DEVICES KNOWN AS BUMP STOCKS that were used in the Las Vegas shooting a month ago to turn ordinary rifles into automatic weapons would be banned in Massachusetts under a bill the Legislature sent to Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk on Thursday after weeks of bickering between the House and Senate. The(...)

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A disability shouldn’t be a handicap

A disability shouldn’t be a handicap

We need to ensure special needs students have a chance to succeed

“EXCUSE ME, DO you need that parking space? Because my 85-year-old mother does.” My sister, Maria, and I turned our heads to see a middle-aged woman scowling at us moments after we pulled into a handicapped parking space, at the front entrance of our local mall. Outraged, I said, “As a matter of fact, we(...)

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Amazon vs. marijuana

Amazon vs. marijuana

Communities throw millions at retail giant while snubbing pot

WHEN A CHICOPEE woman won the record-setting Powerball jackpot in August, lost in the cacophony were the two $1 million winning tickets sold in Dorchester and Watertown. Despite the disappointment of not hitting the big one, neither winner said “no, thanks” to the lesser sums. But that appears to be what’s happening in Massachusetts with(...)

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Flying without a PILOT

Flying without a PILOT

Don't call UMass Lowell's groundbreaking pact with the city a PILOT

Photo by Frank Curran Lowell and UMass Lowell signed a master agreement in August, committing the university to providing nearly $8 million in cash and in-kind contributions for the community over the next 20 years. The agreement includes new funds for repair and upkeep of the city-owned minor league baseball field and a commitment to(...)

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Is Baker’s commission another delay tactic?

Is Baker’s commission another delay tactic?

Need for more transportation revenues hasn’t changed

LIKE RED LINE TRAINS, the state’s efforts to address transportation funding are constantly bedeviled by fits and starts in a seemingly endless quest to reach the destination. In the latest iteration, the Baker administration has proposed the creation of a commission to analyze transportation needs and develop a plan to pay for them, though the(...)

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