Sales tax holiday unlikely this year

BOSTON (WWLP)—Despite support from both consumers and business owners, summer savings with a tax free weekend this year are looking unlikely. But Massachusetts retailers are already looking to secure future sales tax holidays.

Governor Charlie Baker and several lawmakers filed tax free weekend bills to give you a break from the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax. But Revenue Committee Chairman Jay Kaufman said Monday there will be no sales tax holiday this year.

State Representative Antonio Cabral, (D-New Bedford) told 22News it’s getting a bit late to vote on a sales tax holiday with the legislature on summer recess.

“It’s kind of late to have a full vote on this particular issue. I know it’s something that consumers like and retailers also enjoy that holiday weekend but I don’t see it happening this year,” said Cabral.

Several state lawmakers also don’t think the state can afford a sales tax holiday this year. But Massachusetts Retailers are pushing to put a tax free weekend in the hands of voters in the future.

“We’ve found the event to be widely popular with the voters and it’s time for them to decide whether or not this is something they want to see on a regular basis,” said Ryan Kearney of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts.

The Retailers Association of Massachusetts filed four initiative petitions with the Attorney General’s office for the 2018 ballot that would give you a sales tax break, including a permanent sales tax holiday. They would also reduce the state sales tax to four and a half or five percent.

If certified by the Attorney General, ballot campaigners must gather close to 65,000 signatures before their proposal can make it onto the 2018 ballot.

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