There is much that remains unknown about the distribution of the approximately $6.5 million in direct financial assistance to an estimated 193 Massachusetts groundfishermen and permit holders, not the least of which is when they actually might get to cash the checks worth about $32,500 each.
Here is something potentially more maddening than the uncertainty of when the checks might arrive:
No one on the state or federal level will say with any certainty whether the direct financial aid, tied to the federally declared Northeast multispecies groundfish disaster, will be subject to federal and/or state taxes.
During the past three weeks, the Gloucester Daily Times put a simple question to several agencies and officials on the state and federal level: Will fishermen have to pay taxes on the direct disaster aid and, thus, send a portion of their assistance back to the very entity that provided it?
Want to read more about disaster aid? Click here...