After Governor Charlie Baker proposed a two-month sales tax holiday due to higher-than-expected state revenues, Democratic legislators signaled they do not intend to take up his plan, pointing to other long-standing concerns in the state that they argue the money should be used for instead. State Senator Adam Hinds, who co-chairs the Joint Committee on Revenue, and Jon Hurst of the Retailers of Massachusetts Association joined Jim Braude to debate the proposal.
Hurst supports the 2-month reprieve, saying it would help keep money flowing through the local economy, provide relief for lower-income people and help small businesses.
“I think anytime that we can return dollars to consumers, particularly those who have been doing their due diligence during the COVID crisis, it’s a good thing,” he said. “The sales taxes [is] a regressive tax, and let’s face it unfortunately, we’ve all been spending, through our smartphones, dollars that have been leaving the state.”
Hinds said the proposal is a political gesture and a distraction from bigger problems with the state’s recovery. “It’s based on poor tax policy, and honestly it’s not the tool that we need right now for a strong recovery,” he said. “If the objective is to help consumers, or low-income consumers, it’s an inefficient way and it’s not really an effective way to do that.”
WATCH: Should Mass. have a two-month sales tax holiday?