Cranberry Country Chamber Of Commerce

Sales Tax Decrease/Tax Holiday Initiative

POSITION STATEMENT

Sales Tax Decrease/Tax Holiday Initiative

 

The Cranberry Country Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit business advocacy and economic development organization. It has a diverse membership base of over 250 businesses primarily small and medium size, in the Middleboro area representing Middleboro, Lakeville, Carver, Bridgewater, Halifax, Plympton, Raynham, Rochester, and Wareham. This policy position is intended to serve as guidelines for the Chamber’s Legislative Committee’s efforts and has been reviewed and approved by the Chamber’s Legislative Committee and Board of Directors.

Adopted 5/16/2018

 

The Cranberry Country Chamber and its Board of Directors oppose and do not support the proposed Sales Tax Decrease/Tax Holiday Initiative at this time, but will defer to the position statement of Southeastern Massachusetts Legislative Alliance of Chambers of Commerce.

This proposed law would roll back the sales tax rate in Massachusetts from 6.25% to 5%, and would require the Commissioner of Revenue to designate a weekend in August each year as a sales tax holiday period during which many items would be purchased without sales tax. Exclusions from the sales tax holiday include meals, motor vehicles and boats, utilities and any item costing more than $2,500.

If the reduction in the sales tax proposed by this measure were to cause a public entity funded by the sales tax (e.g. the MBTA or School Building Authority) to be unable to make a debt payment, the proposed law would require the State treasurer to make the payment instead. The state’s liability would be limited to the amount attributable to the sales tax reduction, and the public entity would be required to repay the State within 5 years.

National studies have proven that “sales tax holidays” do not grow the economy, improve businesses, or do a whole lot for the families they are designed to help. Further, the Chamber believes that comprehensive tax and spending reform is actually more beneficial to taxpayers than a “sales tax holiday.”

In July of 2009, faced with challenges to state revenues brought on by the recession, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts raised the state sales tax rate from 5% to 6.25%. New England states vary greatly (with only Vermont able to add a local 1% addition to the state sales tax rate).

Current New England States rates:

 

  • Rhode Island 7%
  • Connecticut 35%
  • Massachusetts 25%
  • Vermont 6% (with maximum of 1% local add-on)
  • Maine 5%
  • New Hampshire 0

 

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