Governor Charlie Baker is calling for a discussion about lowering the state's 6.25 percent sales tax, but has yet to offer specific details.

According to the AP, on Monday the Governor was asked to elaborate on comments he made Saturday at the Republican state convention. Baker said publicly he supported both reducing the sales tax and establishing a permanent summer sales tax holiday.

In 2009 a new law passed raising the Commonwealth's sales tax from 5% to 6.25% where it has remained since then. Under the Patrick administration, lawmakers included the increase in their budget plan, saying the extra revenue was needed to stave off even deeper cuts.

In 2010, when Governor Baker ran unsuccessfully against then Governor Deval Patrick, the tax increase was a big issue in the race with Baker pledging to try to roll it back if elected. Eight years later, it appears as if he still supports that effort.

The Retailers Association of Massachusetts, a trade group that includes 4,000 retailers and restaurants, has proposed a ballot question that would lower the sales tax to five percent, in addition to a push for a permanent two day sales tax holiday in August.  The governor would not indicate Monday if he specifically supported that effort, but said he hoped a legislative compromise could be reached that would negate the need for the question to go before voters.

Reducing the state sales tax will help small business remain competitive, while also putting money back in the pockets of those who need it most, including seniors on fixed incomes and working class families

Jon Hurst

President, Retailers Association of Massachusetts


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