Eliot Tatelman, Jordan's Furniture President 
Keynote Speaker at RAMAE Luncheon



RAM’s 105th Annual Meeting will be held on Thursday, November 15th, at The Conference Center at Bentley University.  The Board of Directors meeting begins promptly at 9:00 AM, and all RAM members are welcome to attend.  Immediately following the board meeting, members are encouraged to stay and join us at the annual RAM Awards of Excellence (RAMAE) luncheon at noon, where we will recognize outstanding local businesses in retail in 2023. Eliot Tatelman, President of Jordan's Furniture and RAM member, will be the keynote speaker at the luncheon.

The RAMAES were created more than 20 years ago as a way to shine a light on the hidden jewels of the retail industry here in Massachusetts. These awards are a means to recognize those innovators that are doing it the right way for their customers, and to also hold them up as beacons for others to follow. Our 2023 winners are leading the way in their respective industries in these increasingly challenging times.


All RAM members are invited to attend.  Registration is required, although both meetings are free to attend.
Agenda & Registration

Previous RAMAE winners

For more information, please contact Andi Shea at [email protected].

Tax Relief Bill sent to Governor Healey

The long-awaited compromise tax relief package (H.4104, An Act to improve the Commonwealth’s competitiveness, affordability, and equity) that emerged from a Conference Committee earlier this week was then approved overwhelmingly by the House and Senate and sent on to Governor Maura Healey for her review.  The Governor made tax relief a key component of her campaign message and she is expected to sign the final package into law. 
As you know, RAM had advocated for an aggressive approach to tax relief, specifically highlighting the need for a significant reform to the estate tax and a reduction in the short-term capital gains tax rate.  We were pleased to see action on both fronts in the final conference report.  These are steps in the right direction toward addressing the Commonwealth’s outlier status on tax policy, yet more can and should be done, and we look forward to working with the Legislature and Governor Healy on that effort to deliver additional tax relief to consumers and employers.
Another major tax change included in the final bill that will impact multi-state operators is the switch to Single Sales Factor (SSF) Apportionment, from the currently used three-factor tax apportionment based on location, payroll, and receipts.  Massachusetts had previously adopted SSF for manufacturing and the mutual fund industry but is now poised to join the 39 other states that use SSF apportionment for all multi-state companies.  RAM has long been neutral on this issue, with members both winners and losers in making this switch. 
Supporters of the Fair Share/Millionaire’s Tax succeeded in getting into the bill a change in law requiring married couples to file joint state tax returns if they file joint federal returns, closing what they considered a “loophole” that could be used to reduce one’s tax liability.  Those same supporters got another victory with changes to Chapter 62F, the little-known tax refund law that surprisingly delivered $3 billion in tax relief last year.  Changes made will result in future rebates being issued to all taxpayers equally, if the law is again triggered.

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Legislative Update:
LWD Hearing on Wages, Overtime and Tips


This week the Legislature’s Labor and Workforce Development Committee held a public hearing on a list of bills regulating employee compensation practices.  The majority of these bills consisted of labor mandates which would increase costs for Massachusetts employers, including proposals relative to the minimum and tipped wages, retail premium pay, and overtime eligibility.  The hearing docket also included two employer friendly bills designed to provide some level of relief from existing labor requirements—one providing for a teen training wage and the other establishing an employer right to cure certain wage act violations made in good faith. 

RAM General Counsel, Ryan Kearney, provided oral and written testimony to the Committee stressing the importance of controlling the cost of doing business in Massachusetts and avoiding measures that place in-state employers at a disadvantage to their out-of-state and online competitors.  RAM requested the Committee’s opposition to the various labor mandates and support for the two employer relief proposals discussed below.

Proposals to increase the state’s minimum wage and eliminate the tipped wage received the most attention at the hearing.  The minimum wage bills seek to increase the state’s hourly minimum wage to $20 per hour and tipped wage to $12 per hour by 2027.  This represents a 33% increase to the current $15 minimum, and a 77% increase to the current $6.75 tipped wage—both of which were just recently implemented on January 1st of this year.  Trailing only Washington state at $15.74 and California at $15.50, Massachusetts already has the third highest state-wide minimum wage in the country.  A $20 minimum wage would render Massachusetts a national outlier and place in-state retailers at a competitive disadvantage.

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