January 21, 2016
Partner Paul Graney is quoted in a Boston Business Journal story about the tax incentive behind GE's relocation to Massachusetts.
By Greg Ryan
General Electric, a conglomerate on a scale rarely seen in American business, is many things. It's an energy company. It's a life sciences company. It's a software development firm as well as a financial services firm and manufacturer.
But it's the last of those identities that can win the company (NYSE: GE) a controversial tax break in Massachusetts, the state it will soon call home.
GE has confirmed to the Business Journal that it expects to receive a discount from the state on its corporate income taxes, one reserved for just three types of firms: defense contractors, mutual fund companies and manufacturers. Under the tax break, only the firm's sales in Massachusetts — not its property or payroll in the state, as is also included for other types of companies — are used to calculate how much of its U.S. income will go to the Bay State.
Proponents of single sales factor argue that payroll, property, personal income and other taxes make up for those corporate-income taxes the state does not receive. More and more states across the country have adopted the single sales factor in recent years, potentially putting those that do not use the perk at a competitive disadvantage. "The state is, in essence, going to make out giving this tax break because they're going to come out ahead on all of the ancillary things that come along with that," said Paul Graney, a partner at Marcum LLP and a former chief of audit at the DOR.