Sales tax break unlikely to make this year’s budget

State lawmakers are looking at tax policy amendments for next year

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Every time you shop at a store in Massachusetts, you get hit with a more than 6% sales tax.

It’s made it difficult for businesses to compete with online retailers, which don’t have a sales tax. Some state lawmakers wanted to lower the sales tax, but it doesn’t look like it’ll happen this year.

Prospects don’t look good for a lower Massachusetts sales tax

State lawmakers are looking at tax policy amendments for next year, including three amendments that would reduce the state’s sales tax.

One of the amendments would reduce the sales tax from 6.25% percent to 5%; but that likely won’t make it to the final budget. The House moved it to a study committee, where it’ll likely die.

Several Massachusetts retailers have grown increasingly frustrated over the growth of online shopping, where shoppers don’t have to pay a sales tax at all. That’s why if the amendment doesn’t make the budget, they’re considering putting a question on the 2018 ballot to lower the sales tax.

Another state lawmaker filed an amendment to establish a sales tax holiday.

The proposal would make the third Saturday and third Sunday of August, a permanent sales tax holiday. That amendment, however, was also referred to study.

Lawmakers didn’t explain why they wanted to block the amendments, but they usually wait until summer to decide on whether to have a sales tax holiday.