Sen. Moore keeps promise to fight for jobs
August 31, 2012 ... Returning to Beacon Hill after the 2010 State Election, Sen. Richard T. Moore, D-Uxbridge, promised that his top priority would be putting people back to work and promoting economic development. Two key provisions included in the new Massachusetts Jobs Bill passed in the closing days of the 2012 formal sessions were among his legislative initiatives - renewal of the "Brownfields" tax credits and special assessment financing for development.
"The Jobs Bill provides essential tools for communities and developers to help local businesses expand and to attract new industries to Massachusetts," Sen. Moore explained. "I am confident that this bill will be an important part of our continuing economic recovery adding good jobs for our citizens and tax revenues for our towns," he added.
The Brownfields Tax Credit is a particularly useful tool for not only environment restoration but economic development, providing a tax credit of up to 50 percent for the clean-up of a so-called "Brownfield," and 25 percent for a cleanup that uses an Activity and Use Limitation (AUL). Notably, the project must be located in an Economically Distressed Area (EDA). Under the new law, the deadline for eligible cleanup costs has been extended for two additional years until 2015.
Sen. Moore applauded the work of Douglas Selectman Attorney Hal Davis who has worked with legislators to advance the concepts of clean-up and re-use of once-contaminated lands for new development and an innovative tax arrangement to help developers finance needed infrastructure to build commercial, industrial and mixed-use projects.
"Hal Davis has invested nearly seven years of his considerable tax-financing knowledge to help policy-makers understand some concepts being used successfully in other states that have helped communities grow and prosper," Moore noted.
The Jobs Bill also makes investments in infrastructure through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, which serves as a one-stop-shop for infrastructure funding, thus simplifying the process for municipalities and enabling the state to allocate the funds in the most efficient manner.
Additionally, the legislation provides for a recapitalization of the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund with a focus on "middle skill" jobs through collaboration between public educational institutions, workforce investment boards, and local employers.
It also encourages economic growth by expanding expedited local permitting, which will enable communities to use the Chapter 43D local option program to promote residential development in addition to commercial and mixed-use development that are currently allowed by law.
Acknowledging that small businesses are the lifeblood of our Commonwealth, the bill provides financial support and a new online resource for owners. It first builds on the state's already-strong commitment to small businesses by authorizing PRIM to invest at least $100 million in institutions that make capital available to small businesses and early-stage companies. The bill also creates the Small Business Online Portal, which is a one-stop-shop for small-business owners looking for help or information.
In addition to these provisions, the legislation:
There were other bills passed during the 2011-2012 legislative session that will help with economic recovery. Among the achievements that will help the economy, Sen. Moore listed: Chapter 90 local road funding, electricity cost reduction, casino gaming expansion, foreclosure reforms, health care cost containment, "Right to Repair," and the unemployment insurance rate freeze. "These important initiatives are among the factors that continue to reduce the number of jobless Massachusetts residents and fuel the economic recovery that is putting our neighbors back to work," Sen. Moore stated.
Not content with just passing legislation to put people to work, Sen. Moore has been a leader in helping businesses in Central Massachusetts to expand.
He was instrumental in gaining essential state funding and tax credits to help businesses such as IPG Photonics to grow in Oxford, recovery of the Grafton and Upton Railroad in Hopedale, expansion of Ipsen-Biomeasure and Veralia in Milford. "This region was once the birthplace of America's Industrial Revolution," Moore explained, "and we are again promoting economic revitalization in much of the region."
Beyond these tangible results, Sen. Moore has visited such local businesses as Marshall's Jewelers of Milford, Isador's Fruit and Deli in Oxford, Peaceful Dove Flower and Gift Shop of Webster, Omni Control Technology in Whitinsville, Southbridge Credit Union of Southbridge, EMX Controls in Uxbridge, Vaillancourt Folk Art of Sutton, and Green Mountain Chocolates of Hopedale, and participated in both the Blackstone Valley Chamber Expo and the Milford Area Chamber of Commerce Expo to speak with owners and leaders about the challenges facing their organizations, and where the state might be able to leverage its resources to be of assistance. Sen. Moore has also spoken at meetings of the Bellingham Business Association and the Auburn Chamber of Commerce.