BOSTON (WWLP) – Retailers are considering backing a 2018 ballot question that would reduce the Massachusetts sales tax, but some state lawmakers are hesitant to support such a proposal as they work to increase state revenues.
This comes at the same time that lawmakers are pushing a ballot question to increase taxes on millionaires by 4%. The Massachusetts sales tax was raised from 5% to 6.25% in 2009. Voters rejected a 2010 ballot question that would have brought the sales tax down to 3%.
Governor Charlie Baker told 22News that he supported reducing the sales tax back down to 5% in 2010, but wouldn’t support a proposed reduction just yet. Lawmakers are under pressure to both increase the state’s revenues and help small businesses compete with other states and online companies that often don’t charge a sales tax.
“There’s no question that retailers in Massachusetts face tremendous competition and pressure from our colleagues North of the border that don’t have a sales tax at all,” Baker said.
Retailers still have a long way to go before the question makes its way onto the ballot.