AIM Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Associate General Counsel Eileen McAnneny will assume her seat tomorrow on a state economic development commission that AIM believes must concentrate on creating a uniformly favorable business climate to encourage job growth.
McAnneny will press AIM’s emphasis on jobs, economic opportunity, fiscal predictability, business formation, innovation and education. The association believes that the private sector has the unique ability and responsibility to create economic opportunity for the people of Massachusetts.
“The creation of a job and a person’s ability to do it weaves together every important aspect of social and economic stability – the desire for a better life, the ability to support a family, the confidence to start a business, and the need to support efficient government management of services such as education, health care, and public safety,” McAnneny said.
The commission, created two years ago but only now getting off the ground, is expected to conduct sessions throughout Massachusetts to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each region.
“Moving around or going to various regions may provide us with more information, more opportunities to hear from people,” Representative John Scibak, co-chair of the jobs commission, told State House News Service last month. He added that he would like to “hear from people who are actually involved in [job creation] on a day-to-day basis.”
Gov. Deval Patrick approved a resolve creating the commission in January 2009. Members appointed by the governor include: Tim Sullivan of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, Aaron Tanaka of the Boston Workers' Alliance, Alan Clayton-Matthews of Northeastern University, and McAnneny.
Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo appointed Senator Karen Spilka and Scibak as co-chairs. Republican leaders appointed Senator Bruce Tarr and Representative Paul Frost. All nine cabinet secretaries were appointed to the panel and permitted to designate officials to appear on the commission in their place.
AIM believes that sustained economic growth requires:
- Economic policy that balances key public investments with a competitive cost structure that keeps jobs in Massachusetts.
- Predictable, responsible and long-term state fiscal policy.
- A favorable environment for business development across all industries.
- Leadership from business executives to help government resolve important issues.
- Well-conceived and collaborative regulation that creates measurable benefits.
- Valuing Massachusetts’ employees, the contributions they make to a successful business and the willingness to pay them accordingly.
- A world-class education system that provides opportunity for all Massachusetts citizens and the knowledge base for economic growth.
- Collaboration between business and government to ensure mutual success.
The commission will hold its first meeting amid a debate over the use of tax and other incentives to encourage companies to create or retain jobs in Massachusetts.
AIM believes first and foremost in a fair and simple corporate tax code. But we also believe that when economic incentives are needed, those incentives should take the form of broad-based, statutorily clear tax credits that are taken as a matter of right if companies achieve certain investment goals, not credits granted via discretionary administrative fiat.
Statutory tax credits have the value of being predictable and understandable for taxpayers and investors alike. Pure tax credits also have the virtue of being payable only if the taxpayer actually has a Massachusetts corporate tax liability – refundable credits cost the commonwealth money directly and immediately.
What is your suggestion for the economic development commission? Please feel free to leave a comment below.