Two months since its passing, the fight against the tech tax is finally coming to a close. The Massachusetts House of Representatives voted Wednesday to repeal the sales tax on computer software and technology services. The Senate will take its turn casting votes on the tax’s repeal when the senators come back into session today.
The House vote was 156-1, overwhelmingly in favor of the repeal of the controversial service tax.
In past month, Governor Deval Patrick has stated his willingness to consider a repeal of the tech tax. Patrick said Wednesday that he’s waiting to see what House and Senate leaders do to close the hole in the budget, according to the AP.
Asked if he would veto the repeal if it didn’t include additional revenues, Patrick said, as reported in the Boston Globe, “That’s not where I am…They know what we have to deal with. I can’t deal with it without them so I’m waiting to see what they do. Whether they do it all today or do it over the next several months, remains to be seen.”
Earlier in the month, House Speaker Robert DeLeo said he doesn’t believe there will be a replacement tax on the tech community, or a new tax proposed to make up for the revenue.
The only representative who voted against the tech tax was Angelo Scaccia (R-Boston). As reported by the AP, “[Scaccia] said lawmakers should not give up what they have been worked hard to approve. He said it’s not fair to raise taxes on smokers by hiking the cigarette tax while repealing a tax on businesses. The same transportation finance bill that included the technology tax also included higher taxes on gasoline and cigarettes.”
Republicans, who had held public meetings to rally people against the tech tax, took credit for the legislature’s sudden reversal.
‘‘We told you so. We told you in April. We told you in May. We told you in June,’’ Rep. George Peterson, the assistant Republican leader from Grafton, said in the release — a comment to Democratic leaders’ claims that they were unaware of any strong opposition to the tax until after it was approved in the end of July.
However, the decision to repeal still falls to Governor Patrick. As DeLeo told BostInno two weeks ago, “Based on the governor’s statements, I am presuming he will sign it. It won’t happen till he actually signs it, but I don’t believe you will see the tech tax here in Massachusetts.”
Governor Patrick originally proposed the tech tax last January. The 6.25 percent sales tax to tech and computer software services was thought to help fund improvements to the state’s transportation system.