Summary

This proposed law would remove the 6.25% state sales tax on beer, wine, and liquor beverages that are also subject to a separate excise tax under state law. The proposed law would take effect Jan. 1.

Latest news

Alcohol tax repeal disastrous, foes say (Boston Globe, 10/27/10)


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Arguments

Yes - Remove the 6.25% sales tax on alcohol


(Authored by Frank Anzalotti, Committee To Repeal the Alcohol Sales Tax, Boston. www.YesTo1.com)

Massachusetts consumers have always paid a substantial excise tax on alcohol purchases. However, before last year, Massachusetts had no sales tax on the purchase of alcohol.

The new sales tax should be repealed because it is an unfair "double tax;" a sales tax on top of an excise tax.

The new sales tax has hurt small business owners who sell beer, wine, and liquor, particularly near New Hampshire, which has no sales tax on alcohol. Business has declined substantially for many of those stores.

A 'yes' vote eliminates an unfair "double tax" on consumers and helps Massachusetts small businesses.

These arguments, from the secretary of state's election website, were written by proponents and opponents of each question and reflect their opinions.

Boston.com, The Boston Globe, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts do not endorse these arguments, and do not certify the truth or accuracy of any statement made in these arguments.

The names of the individuals and organizations who wrote each argument, and any written comments by others about each argument, are on file in the secretary of state's office.

No - Keep the 6.25% sales tax on alcohol


(Authored by Vic DiGravio, treasurer, Committee Against Repeal of the Alcohol Tax, Association for Behavioral Healthcare, Natick. www.NoOn1MA.com)

Alcohol is not a necessity and does not deserve a special tax exemption.

The only goods in Massachusetts exempt from the sales tax are necessities like food, clothing, and prescriptions. If anything should be taxed, products like cigarettes and alcohol should be.

Revenues from the alcohol tax provide dedicated funding for health care services for more than 100,000 residents with behavioral health problems. Massachusetts has some of the highest rates of alcohol and drug abuse in the country - the last thing we need is to take money away from prevention and treatment services to make alcohol more accessible.

The alcohol tax helps save lives by reducing teen drinking and funding treatment services to help people beat addictions and get their lives back on track.

Nearly every state has a sales tax on alcohol in addition to excise taxes. Massachusetts faces a serious budget deficit; don't give alcohol a special exemption.

These arguments, from the secretary of state's election website, were written by proponents and opponents of each question and reflect their opinions.

Boston.com, The Boston Globe, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts do not endorse these arguments, and do not certify the truth or accuracy of any statement made in these arguments.

The names of the individuals and organizations who wrote each argument, and any written comments by others about each argument, are on file in the secretary of state's office.

Featured

Alcohol tax repeal disastrous, foes say

Opponents of Question 1 warned yesterday that repealing the state’s new sales tax on alcohol would lead to “people dying on the streets’’ by taking funds away from alcohol- and substance-abuse treatment programs, while liquor store owners said the new tax has hurt business and driven customers away. (By Matt Murphy and Colleen Quinn, 10/27/10)

Voter initiatives target two taxes

With jobs scarce and many families just scraping by, taxes have taken center stage this political season. In Tuesday’s election, Massachusetts voters will have two opportunities to lower them. (By Peter Schworm, 10/26/10)

In poll, edge goes to sales tax cut

Massachusetts voters are deeply split over a November ballot question that would slash the state sales tax, a new Globe poll indicates, with a narrow plurality of those surveyed saying they favor the proposal. (By Alan Wirzbicki, 9/26/10)

Unions raise $1.3m to fight ballot drive to cut sales tax

Determined not to be caught off-guard in a volatile election year, labor unions are pouring money into an effort to fight a deep cut in the state sales tax, campaign finance reports show. (By Alan Wirzbicki, 9/20/10)

Voter resources

Complete Results
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