Small business relief or ‘gimmick?’ Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposed 2-month sales tax holiday stirs debate

While top Democrats derided Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposed two-month sales tax holiday as irresponsible and “gimmicky,” business leaders and fiscal conservatives in Massachusetts defended the Republican governor’s idea as an inventive.

“In a larger measure, the state was held afloat through a very regressive tax. There’s no question about the fact that the sales tax is the most regressive tax on the books,” said Jon Hurst, president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts.

A two-month sales tax holiday makes sense, he said, even if it’s the consumers who benefit more than the businesses.

“Tax cuts are not gimmicks to those who want to keep more of their own money,” Paul D. Craney, spokesman for the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, said in a statement.

Baker on Wednesday announced he was filing a bill to extend the annual sales tax holiday, currently scheduled for Aug. 14 and Aug. 15, to a two-month affair in August and September. He…

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