Patrick On Computer Services Tax: Repeal And Replace

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick says he would be in favor of replacing a tax on computer software services recently enacted by the legislature.

After meeting with business leaders last week, Governor Patrick says he believes there is consensus that the tax should be repealed. But he says the hard part now is what to replace it with.

The tax, which was included in a transportation funding package, would raise about 160 million dollars, according to supporters. But critics say the tax is so broadly worded it could cost taxpayers at least half a billion dollars.

Speaking in Worcester, Patrick says he’s concerned the tax could have some unintended consequences.

“Beyond the question, and you can debate it, what the significance of the fiscal or financial impact is on the companies, it’s a serious, I think, blot on our reputation as  an innovation center,” Patrick says.

A proposed ballot question to repeal the tax passed an initial test last week when Attorney General Martha Coakley ruled that it had met constitutional muster. The question could go before voters next year.