Deadline for groups looking to get questions on the 2018 ballot

They want to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Groups looking to get a question on the 2018 ballot had a 5 p.m. deadline on Wednesday.

The Retailers Association of Massachusetts said they want to reduce sales tax from 6.25 percent to either 5 percent, or as low as 4.5 percent and establish an annual two day sales tax holiday in August.

The group is concerned with the impact that online shopping has on traditional brick and mortar businesses in Massachusetts because much of online shopping is tax free, and competing stores in New Hampshire are also tax free.

The sales tax was raised from 5 percent to 6.25 percent in 2009 to close budget gaps that developed during and after the Great Recession in 2008.

The association is proposing four questions for the 2018 ballot, two of which would also establish a permanent sales tax holiday.

This is the second year in a row that lawmakers have not voted on an August sales tax holiday. Another ballot question initiative comes from the Raise Up Massachusetts coalition.

They want to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and have guaranteed paid family and medical leave.