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Mass. alcohol sales tax set to disappear on Jan. 1

December 26, 2010

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BOSTON—Massachusetts shoppers soon will no longer have to pay the state's 6.25 percent sales tax on alcohol sold in stores.

Come Jan. 1 the tax is set to disappear. Voters approved a ballot question in November eliminating the levy.

Alcohol was exempt until 2009 when lawmakers expanded the sales tax to include beer and wine sold in stores and use the extra revenue to help fund substance abuse programs.

The package store industry and beer distributors launched an advertising campaign in support of a ballot question to repeal the tax, ultimately outspending supporters of the tax by a 10 to one margin.

Store owners argued the tax hurt sales, especially for stores on the border with tax-free New Hampshire.