Print

The Sales Tax Tussle: Ballot Measure Pits Public vs. Private Spending

. Posted in small business stories

<

If you don’t do business in Massachusetts — or in a neighboring state — then you’ve probably not paid much attention to the upcoming election there. You might want to start.

When Massachusetts voters hit the polls on Nov. 2, they’ll weigh in on Question 3, which proposes to slash the state’s sales tax from 6.25% to 3%. If the measure passes, consumers would certainly save money at retail checkout. Proponents say the cut would create jobs and stimulate new business investment. At least one independent analysis supports the claim.

Retail businesses, particularly those that sell big-ticket items like the small jewelry store featured here, stand to benefit. The tax cut would amount to a statewide coupon to entice shoppers, one with no expiration date and no direct costs to business owners.

But those opposing the proposal — including powerful unions and all four gubernatorial candidates — bemoan the $2 billion-plus the rollback would strip from the state’s revenues, and say that critical public services such as safety and education would be in jeopardy.

In a basic sense, the measure forces competing bottom lines to duke it out in the voting booth, with business and consumer bank accounts squaring off against the state’s coffers.

Advocates say it’s time for state government to do what small businesses do every day: succeed with limited resources. They also cite the need to keep Massachusetts consumers in Massachusetts. Neighboring New Hampshire has no sales tax, offering significant savings to shoppers who head across state lines. A 3% sales tax would also undercut higher rates charged by its other neighbors. Rhode Island, for example, tacks on 7% to cash register receipts, while Connecticut and Vermont each levy 6%.

Though the real-world impact of such a move would be open to interpretation, key stakeholder groups — government, business, consumer — would almost certainly follow the effects from well beyond Massachusetts’ borders. In an era when some brick-and-mortar businesses contend with online stores that offer the same products tax-free, the notion of sales tax as a competitive tool bears discussion.

State and local governments already compete for big business investment by offering corporate tax breaks and other incentives. And sales tax rates vary widely across the country, from zero in several states to around 10 percent in some California municipalities. Some states offer sales tax “holidays” to spur shoppers on specific days of the year.

Still, even if a sales tax rollback might make Massachusetts more attractive to shoppers and businesses, Question 3’s opponents assert that the corresponding cuts to public spending would devastate services and undermine economic recovery and growth.

The idiom is death and taxes — not death and sales taxes. Next week, Massachusetts voters will decide just how certain the latter are.

Kevin Casey has worked for more than 11 years as a writer and editor at companies large and small. He is a regular contributor here and at InformationWeek. Follow him at twitter. com/kevinrcasey. View all posts by Kevin Casey This entry was posted in Trends and tagged news, sales tax, tax. Bookmark the permalink.« Previous postNext post » 1 comment 0 people listening Sign in or Post as Guest
    Comment helpGet Livefyre
Post comment as + Follow conversation Following - Unfollow Post to Sort: Newest | Oldest RhodeIslander

What an interesting topic, particularly in this election year. If Massachusetts voters approve the sales-tax cut, I will be going across the border to shop.

share flag
    spamoffensivedisagreeoff topic
Like /**/jQuery(document).ready(function(){doSubscriptPrompt();}); Follow us:
    Get the free Intuit Blog App! Popular Trend Posts
      How to Homeschool Your Kids while Running a Business50 Essential iPad Apps for Small Business50 Essential iPad Apps for Small Business - 2012 Edition5 Handwriting Apps for Taking Notes on Your Tablet or SmartphoneTop 10 Time Management iPad and iPhone Apps
    .featured_* - {background:#f0f0f0;border:solid 1px #e0e0e0;border-radius:3px;width:296px;height:100%}.featured_* - . featured_title_text{font-family:'Trebuchet MS',verdana, sans-serif;font-weight:600;color:#666;font-size:14px;margin-left:13px;margin-bottom:6px;margin-top:10px}.featured_* - . featured_text{font-family:verdana, sans-serif;color:#fff;font-size:11px;background-color:#999;border-radius:3px;width:258px;margin-bottom:10px;margin-left:13px;padding:4px4px 4px 6px}.featured_* - . * - _container{width:268px;height:180px;position:relative;left:13px;padding-bottom:14px}

    Featured * -

    Check's in the Mail

    .blog_link_widget{width:300px;-webkit-border-radius:2px;-moz-border-radius:2px;border-radius:2px;-moz-background-clip:padding;-webkit-background-clip:padding-box;background-clip:padding-box;-webkit-box-shadow:0px 1px 1px #bacede;-moz-box-shadow:0px 1px 1px #bacede;box-shadow:0px 1px 1px #bacede;background-color:#fff;background-image:-webkit-gradient(linear, left top, left bottom, from(#ffffff),to(#efefef));background-image:-webkit-linear-gradient(top,#ffffff,#efefef);background-image:-moz-linear-gradient(top,#ffffff,#efefef);background-image:-ms-linear-gradient(top,#ffffff,#efefef);background-image:-o-linear-gradient(top,#ffffff,#efefef);background-image:linear-gradient(top,#ffffff,#efefef);filter:progid:DXImageTransform. Microsoft. gradient(startColorStr='#ffffff',EndColorStr='#efefef')}.blog_widget_header{height:29px;width:298px;padding-right:1px;border-top-left-radius:2px;border-top-right-radius:2px;-webkit-border-top-right-radius:2px;-webkit-border-top-left-radius:2px;-moz-border-radius-topright:2px;-moz-border-radius-topleft:2px;background-color:#1782DA;background-image:-webkit-gradient(linear, left top, left bottom, from(#1782DA), to(#055FBD));background-image:-webkit-linear-gradient(top, #1782DA, #055FBD);background-image:-moz-linear-gradient(top, #1782DA, #055FBD);background-image:-ms-linear-gradient(top, #1782DA, #055FBD);background-image:-o-linear-gradient(top, #1782DA, #055FBD);background-image:linear-gradient(top, #1782DA, #055FBD);filter:progid:DXImageTransform. Microsoft. gradient(startColorStr='#1782DA', EndColorStr='#055FBD')}.blog_widget_headerspan{font-family:'Trebuchet MS',arial, sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-weight:600;color:#fff;margin-left:15px;position:relative;top:5px}.blog_widget_content{margin-top:1px;padding-bottom:1px;margin-left:25px}span. blog_category{font-family:'Trebuchet MS',arial, sans-serif;font-size:13px;font-weight:600;color:#045EBC;margin-left:0px;position:relative;top:0px}.blog_link_widgetul{margin-top:8px;margin-bottom:8px}.blog_link_widgetli{list-style:none;display:block;margin-left:-25px;font-family:verdana, arial, sans-serif;font-size:11px;line-height:16px;margin-right:10px}.blog_link_widgetli. blog_link_list{list-style:none;list-style-image:none;list-style-type:none}.blog_link_widget lia{text-decoration:none;color:#666;padding:1px}.blog_link_widget li a:hover{color:#333}.blog_link_widget. full_list{position:relative;top:6px;!top: -12px;float:right;margin-right:12px;font-size:11px;clear:both}.blog_link_widget. full_lista{text-decoration:none;color:#fff}.blog_link_widget. full_list a:hover{color:#ccc} More Intuit Blogs(Full List)
      Small BusinessIntuit Small Business BlogIntuit GoPayment BlogIntuit Websites BlogQuickBooks Online BlogLittle Square - QuickBooks for Mac
      AccountingIntuit ProLine News Central
      Taxes & Personal FinanceTax Break. The TurboTax BlogMintLife Blog
stLight. options({publisher:'f93244b5-5799-4c55-b116-b4f28d0225cb',onhover:false});var st_type='wordpress3.0.1';Intuit Small Business Blog: Home| Money| Marketing| Employees| Trends| Local| Terms of Use| SitemapWho Are You? Accountants| Developers| Enterprise| Financial Institutions| Healthcare| RetailersCorporate: Support| Communities| Products A-Z| Contact Us| Careers| Privacy| Security| Legal| Intuit Labs| About Intuit © 2012 Intuit, Inc. All rights reserved. Intuit and QuickBooks are registered trademarks of Intuit, Inc. Terms and conditions, features, support, pricing and service options subject to change without notice./**/
var rpxJsHost=(("https:"==document. location. protocol)?"https://":"http://static.");document. write(unescape("%3Cscript src='"+rpxJsHost+"rpxnow. com/js/lib/rpx. js' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E"));var JANRAIN_CONFIG={'rpxLocation':'/wp-content/plugins/intuit-janrain/rpx_xdcomm. html','postTitle':'The Sales Tax Tussle: Ballot Measure Pits Public vs. Private Spending','postDescription':'If you don’t do business in Massachusetts — or in a neighboring state — then you’ve probably not paid mu...','postImage':'http://blog-s1.intuitstatic. com/wp-content/blogs. dir/1/uploads/iStock_000009060484XSmall. jpg','postPermalink':'http://blog. intuit. com/trends/the-sales-tax-tussle-ballot-measure-pits-public-vs-private-spending/'};st_go({v:'ext',j:'1',blog:'28787961',post:'1541'});var load_cmc=function(){linktracker_init(28787961,1541,2);};if(typeof addLoadEvent!='undefined')addLoadEvent(load_cmc);else load_cmc();
:
Learning when you are allowed to and how to start a non profit business are critical steps in a busi
Starting a business and need to learn how to start a limited liability corporation? For those who w
Interested in learning how to start a corporation? Let’s start with an overview… A corp
In this article we’ll cover the definition of sole proprietor. There are a multitude of small
What is the definition of a corporation? This article will explain the basics of the corporate entit
Alphalogix has again upgraded their popular Versona Instant Messaging System by adding the capabilit