OPINION | Barry Richard: Give MA Taxpayers a Sales Tax Free Weekend
For a second consecutive year Massachusetts lawmakers may deny consumers a chance to shop without paying the state's 6.25 percent sales tax.
The Massachusetts Legislature, unable to stop spending your money long enough to balance the state's budget is on the verge of again denying shoppers and retailers a sales tax free weekend. House Speaker Robert DeLeo says the matter is still under discussion on Beacon Hill.
For eleven of the last thirteen years the state's 6.25 percent sales tax has been suspended for a weekend in August giving retailers a much needed boost during an otherwise slow time of year and giving shoppers a chance to say they beat the system. Only during the economic downturn in 2009 and last year did lawmakers refuse to vote for a sales tax free weekend.
The State House News Service reports that DeLeo told reporters yesterday:
"I think based on what's happening in the budget we'll have to take a look again at finances, the present condition that we're in."
It's estimated that the sales tax free weekend could cost the state some 25.5 million dollars in tax revenues.
There is no question that the state's finances are in tough shape right now. But, lets not forget we started the colander year with the Legislature granting itself a huge pay raise. Just a month prior Governor Charlie Baker gave everyone a raise. Now we are told there is not enough money for the people who pay for those raises to get a bit of a break?
Dear politicians, the taxpayers and shopkeepers are not responsible for the state's financial problems, you are.
Two bits of advice:
1. Call your State Rep. and Senator immediately and demand a sales tax free weekend.
2. Vote all incumbents out of office as quickly as possible.
Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.