Legislative updates Nov. 8

• A bill aimed at reforming the local tax collection system to reduce instances of fraud was signed into law on Oct. 30. Act 38 of 2017 prohibits checks made payable to a tax collector's name only. Under the new law, checks should be made payable to the name of the tax collector along with the office, title or position; or be made out just to the office, title or position and then be deposited into a separate bank account used only for tax money.

Previously, the Local Tax Collection Law did not specify how taxes were to be paid, so it was left to individual tax collectors to determine how they wanted checks made out.

Changing how accounts are set up and how checks are written will give municipalities and taxpayers an added layer of protection by ensuring their tax dollars go where they are intended, according to state Rep. Eric Roe, R-158, of East Marlborough.

Roe, state Reps. Stephen Barrar and Carolyn Comitta voted for the bill. Barrar was also a cosponsor.

State Sens. Andrew Dinniman and Tom Killion voted for the bill in the Senate.

Act 38 goes into effect Jan. 1, 2018.

• State Rep. Stephen Barrar is a cosponsor of HB 1902 that was introduced on Nov. 6. The bill, if it passes, would prohibit economic relationships between producers of alcohol and distributors of alcohol. According to the memorandum from state Reps. Adam Harris and Paul Costa, updating the language of the Liquor Code is necessary to make it relevant to the 21st century, and streamline the licensing process and permit modern business practices.

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