July 7th Information & Resource Update

Economic Development Incentive Program

Accepting Online Applications

The state's Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP) is designed to foster job creation and stimulate business growth. A company that participates in EDIP may receive state tax credits and/or local property tax incentives in exchange for a commitment to new job creation, existing job retention, and private investment in the project. There are many factors and criteria that the EDIP Review Team and Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) will consider throughout the process, chief among them being whether a project is unlikely to move forward without state and local government support.

If you own a company and are looking to grow your enterprise, you are invited to reach out to the 495/MetroWest Partnership to get connected with the appropriate MOBD Regional Director to discuss your project. Though all application materials will be submitted online, it is recommended that you involve an MOBD Regional Director early in the process as they can help to pre-qualify a project, determine whether EDIP tax credits or a different program may be more appropriate, improve your application, and set realistic expectations. 

To be considered at the September 22nd, 2022 EACC meeting, preliminary applications are due by 5:00 PM on July 13th. To be considered at the December 5th EACC meeting, preliminary materials would be due October 5th. 

Click here to access additional program details and information

For Municipalities & Eligible Businesses: Vacant Storefronts Program

The Massachusetts Vacant Storefronts Program (MVSP) is designed to help municipalities of the Commonwealth in their efforts to revitalize their downtowns and commercial areas. Municipalities may apply to the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) for certification to designate a defined downtown or other commercial area, as a Certified Vacant Storefront District. After achieving such a designation, and achieving a commitment of local matching funds, businesses or individuals may apply to the EACC for refundable EDIP tax credits for leasing and occupying a vacant storefront in that district. This subsequent application is to become a Certified Vacant Storefronts Project.  

Certification for both the Districts and the Projects are competitive. The EACC may withhold approval or ask that an application be re-submitted. Some reasons for withholding approval include: the location is not in a high-need area; the municipality does not offer reasonable support for the program; the business does not fulfill a need or a void in the district; the submission does not fulfill the matching funds requirement; the petition does not demonstrate the municipality’s ability to effectively attract interest in the vacant storefronts; or if the EACC determines the application is not consistent with the purposes of the program for any other reason.

Click here to review existing, approved Vacant Storefront Districts. 495/MetroWest Partnership communities with existing Vacant Storefront Districts are Framingham, Marlborough, and Westborough. 

To be considered at the September 22nd, 2022 EACC meeting, applications are due by 5:00 PM on August 17th, 2022. There are separate applications for municipalities looking to establish a Certified Vacant Storefront District, and for interested businesses to create a project in an established district. Both applications can be accessed online at this link

Legislature Takes Up Extension of Pandemic Measures

As the Legislature approaches the end of its current session on July 31st, legislation that would extend certain emergency accommodations put into place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic is under consideration. 

On Tuesday, the Senate passed S.2985, An Act relative to extending certain state of emergency accommodations. The House of Representatives is expected to take up its own version of the legislation today; differences between the two chambers' versions must then be reconciled before the legislation could proceed to the Governor for his signature or veto.

Click here to access the full text of the legislation, as passed by the Senate. The Senate legislation would:

  • Allow a public body to have remote participation by all members in any meeting of the public body without a physical quorum of the body present at the specified meeting location until December 15th, 2023
  • Allow a notary public to perform an acknowledgement, affirmation or other notarial act utilizing electronic video conferencing in real time until December 15th, 2023
  • Allow the select board of a town to vote, in consultation and with the approval of the town moderator, to prescribe the number of voters necessary to constitute a quorum at any town meeting, either representative or open, held until December 15th, 2023
  • Allow the moderator in a town having a representative town meeting form of government to request the town meeting be held through remote participation, including, but not limited to, by means of a video or telephone conferencing platform, until December 15th, 2023
  • Allows a public corporation to conduct an annual or special meeting of shareholders solely by means of remote communication until December 15th, 2023
  • Allows for participation by remote communication under certain circumstances at any non-profit corporate meeting of the members until December 15th, 2023
  • Require a notice to quit for nonpayment of rent to include information regarding the tenant's legal rights, the availability of rental assistance programs and any legal restrictions on residential evictions
  • Require a landlord to provide an informational form created by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development with a notice to quit for nonpayment of rent

The House is considering a different approach to several provisions, including extending only until March 31st, 2023 several items the Senate version would extend to December 15th, 2023. According to State House News Service, the "House bill also includes provisions specific to notaries public and real estate property closings that were not in the Senate bill." Click here to download the text of the House bill slated for consideration later today

Tax Bills Advance from Revenue Committee

Governor Baker filed two tax bills, H. 4361, An Act to Improve Massachusetts’ Competitiveness and Reduce the Cost of Living and H. 4362, An Act to Improve Tax Administration in the Commonwealth aimed at amending existing tax provisions and updating tax administration processes. The bills were referred to the Joint Committee on Revenue, which voted to advance a redraft of both pieces of legislation.

H.4361, An Act to Improve Massachusetts’ Competitiveness and Reduce the Cost of Living:

  • Raises the minimum no-tax threshold to $12,400 for single filers, $18,650 for heads of households, and $24,800 for joint filers
  • Doubles the maximum Senior Circuit Breaker Credit from $1,170 to $2,340 (2021 dollars)
  • Doubles the Dependent Care and Household Dependent Care credit allowances for single and two or more qualifying individuals
  • Increases the cap on rent deductions from $3,000 to $5,000
  • Raises the threshold for which the estate tax is assessed from $1 million to $2 million
  • Eliminates the provision in the transfer of estate and real property tax that aggregates the amount of all estate and inheritance taxes paid on properties located outside of Massachusetts  

H.4362, An Act to Improve Tax Administration in the Commonwealth:

  • Updates General Laws related to filing amended returns 
  • Updates federal income tax changes, assessment and amended return policies, and abatement penalties
  • Establishes a State Tax Lien Centralized Registry under the Department of Revenue, effective July 1st, 2023
  • Requires S Corporations to file a return to the DOR Commissioner 
  • Requires S Corporations to file a return by April 15th
  • Requires S Corporations that that do not file as a taxable member of a combined group to file a return by March 15th 
  • Requires Marijuana vendors to file a return and keep records of taxable charges 
  • Amends disclosure of information necessary for the administration of the local option tax to include Chapter 64J – “Taxation of fuels in the propulsion of aircraft” 
  • Replaces the term “abatement” with “requests for appeal” with respect to various forms of income reporting during an audit procedure
  • Updates ST-5C form administered to vendors to avoid sales tax on projects for exempt organizations 
  • Amends property exemptions statute by updating citations to Internal Revenue Code Section 152(d)(2), defining dependents and qualifying relatives for the purposes of exempting properties from levy.  

Click the respective links above to access the complete text of each bill, as redrafted. Both bills must be taken up by the full House and Senate prior to the end of the current session on July 31st in order to become law.

MassDOT Soliciting Public Input on Long-Range Planning Effort 

MassDOT is soliciting stakeholder input as part of its process to develop "Beyond Mobility," the Massachusetts 2050 Transportation Plan.

The purpose of this long range plan is to articulate a vision statement that will guide the future of transportation in Massachusetts; serve as a strategic plan for MassDOT; and guide future capital planning at the agency. This plan will help set the stage for the next revamp of the capital planning process through an extensive public engagement and strategic planning process.

Plan development work will occur over four phases:

  • The Assessment phase will involve tasks such as an existing conditions analysis; analyzing the most pressing trends facing Massachusetts through scenario planning; and defining the network for a site-specific needs analysis. This phase includes an online survey, accessible at this link
  • The Visioning phase will involve extensive public and stakeholder engagement and will entail crafting a vision based on input from the public and stakeholders
  • The Evaluation phase will also involve public engagement, based more on assessing public input on a variety of tradeoffs.
  • The final stage will involve recommendations based on this input and other analyses. Recommendations may be related to restructuring the capital planning framework; organizational; policy-related; or location-specific

Click here to access additional information about the Beyond Mobility initiative. Click here to access the online survey

Job Opportunity: Town of Southborough Seeking 

Economic Development Coordinator

The Town of Southborough is currently seeking a part-time (not to exceed 19.5 hours per week) Economic Development Coordinator, who would report to the Town Administrator.

Click here to access the complete job posting

The position "Supports and coordinates the efforts of the Economic Development Committee to ensure effective communication and collaboration between Town officials and businesses located in Southborough. The employee shall work under the direction of the Economic Development Committee and report to the Town Administrator or his designee, in conjunction with the Town Planner. The employee shall be appointed by the Board of Selectmen. The Economic Development Committee mission is to work closely with the Town’s leadership and residents to retain and attract businesses that will expand and strengthen our business tax base, while preserving the character and charm of Southborough. This will help the Town reduce its reliance on residential taxes and enhance the Town’s quality of life. The role of the EDC is to encourage the continued development of the Town’s industrial and commercial tax base by refining internal organizational structures, processes, and resources to effectively support economic development initiatives that will enable businesses to grow and prosper."

NOW AVAILABLE: 2022 Strength in Numbers Report,

New Economic Profiles of all 495/MetroWest Communities

Each year, the 495/MetroWest Partnership publishes our Strength in Numbers report, highlighting the economic advantages of the 495/MetroWest region. Through turbulent times, the strengths and advantages of the 495/MetroWest region continue to position it as an economic powerhouse:

  • Employers remain bullish on the region in spite of national economic concerns
  • Key sectors continue to grow
  • Unemployment is consistently lower than state and national figures
  • Commercial real estate remains available at a steep discount from Boston, with the region still benefitting from the Boston area's resources
  • The region continues to boast one of the world’s most educated workforces

Click here to download our 2022 Strength in Numbers report!

Accompanying our 2022 Strength in Numbers report are economic and demographic profiles of each of our 36 cities and towns. Data points presented in each community profile include population changes, educational attainment, commuting patterns, housing information, key industries, and more.  

To access Community Profiles, visit the "Reports and Data" section of our website, and click on the respective community link to download its two-page profile. 

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if the Partnership can be of any assistance to you:
Jason Palitsch, Executive Director
(774) 760-0495

Thank you for your continued commitment to strengthening our region.
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