Legislature Passes Bills to Help Local Governments, Restaurants: Michlewitz Commends Leaders for Steadfastness

The State Legislature passed several pieces of legislation over the past few days that focus on helping local businesses like restaurants by allowing liquor license holders to sell beer and wine with food to go – along with a municipal package focusing on taxes.

State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz praised the efforts of both houses of the State Legislature in working well together to get necessary changes passed quickly that will help local businesses and local governments survive the COVID-19 response.

“This relief package will give administrative and economic relief to our restaurants, our cities and towns, and to the taxpayers of the Commonwealth,” he said. “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 legislation would extend the individual state tax filing and payment deadline from April 15 to July 15.

The legislation also 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.

“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 Bob DeLeo. “Thank you to Chair Michlewitz and Chair O’Day for their leadership on these important issues.”

The bill was expected to be signed quickly by Gov. Charlie Baker, who proposed many of the measures two weeks ago.

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