Massachusetts liquor retailers consider tax exemption initiative
BOSTON, Massachusetts: Massachusetts' sales tax increased this weekend from 5% to 6.25% and eliminated the exemption for alcohol sold in liquor stores. But already, liquor retailers are considering filing a ballot initiative to make liquor exempt from sales tax. In May 2009 the Senate voted 29-10 in favor of the new legislation. The House voted 108-51 in favor of the tax hike April 2009. Legislators estimate that the tax hike will result in approximately $80 million in new state revenue. However, the Massachusetts Package Stores Association says otherwise; they estimate approximately $50 million in new revenue. Additionally, the liquor association argues that the new tax will cost an estimated 3,000 people their jobs because the tax, they said, will cause alcohol sales to plunge. In reaction to the alleged future drop in revenue and jobs, the association said that they plan to file an initiative by August 5, 2009. First, though the association plans to do some polling and focus groups on the issue. If an initiative is filed and approved the measure will be on the November 2010 statewide ballot.
- The Boston Globe, "Senate approves sales tax hike," May 20, 2009
- Sabrix, "Sales Tax Increase Passes House in Massachusetts - Governor Promises Veto," April 29, 2009
- The Boston Globe, "Package stores may ask voters to shield alcohol from sales tax," July 30, 2009
- The Herald News, "Liquor stores bracing for new tax rules," July 29, 2009