“MassBudget holds a vision of an economically and racially just Commonwealth, one that is supported by fair and forward-thinking state tax and budget policy. Seen through that lens, the Governor’s proposal to suspend the state’s sales tax for August and September presents challenges. On the one hand, shifting our state tax system away from taxes like the sales tax, that fall most heavily on low-income households, makes good sense. Unfortunately, spending the surplus this way forecloses the ability to make investments that will transform opportunities for everyone in our Commonwealth – particularly for our low-income and BIPOC communities.
For instance, the tax dollars the Commonwealth would lose from this 2-month sales tax holiday could support local schools by accelerating funding for the Student Opportunity Act, provide opportunities for affordable childcare that will help businesses and families, and encourage travel by enabling transit authorities to stop collecting burdensome bus fares. These and many other options exist for lawmakers to better target support to those communities and businesses in greatest need.”