Among the many hats I wear one of them is that of a consumer. I like to shop, I like to buy pretty things; sometimes for myself, sometimes for loved ones. My shopping experience is changing with what I’ve come to call “the empty wallet syndrome”. I fondly remember the days when I saw something I liked and thought nothing of purchasing it either for myself or to put away as a future gift. Now I still go into the shops only now I do more browsing than buying.
Would a repeal of the Massachusetts sales tax to 3% from 6.25% persuade me to become a buyer again? Well, this is the question that will be decided by voters in the November 2, 2010 election. Question 3 on the Tuesday, November 2, 2010 ballot will ask voters to decide yes or no to roll back the current sales tax for consumable items. In Massachusetts many personal items are already exempt from the sales tax. These include but are not limited to apparel and fabric goods, food and meals, certain health care items, certain home and household items, and certain reading materials and stationary. I was fascinated when I reviewed the entire list of taxable and non-taxable items on the website www.mass.gov.
The residents of Massachusetts got a taste of what our border friends in New Hampshire experience every day. The weekend of August 14-15, 2010, Governor Patrick penned his signature and declared a “sales tax holiday.” I delayed purchasing things I needed for my beloved Bichon and waited for the “sales tax holiday.” On that weekend, I stocked up on the items my dog needed for the next several months. I spent freely knowing that everything I purchased would come without a sales tax tacked onto the bill. By not having to pay the sales tax, I saved approximately $10.00 – money that went directly into my pocket to either save or spend as I choose.
Of course, I could save the sales tax by taking my business over the border into New Hampshire as many Massachusetts residents are already doing. The savings in sales tax would not even out with the price of a tank of gas and wear and tear on my automobile to travel to New Hampshire. And I prefer to shop local. Another state that does not have a state sales tax is Oregon. When I lived in Northern Nevada where the state sales tax is 7.725% I would wait until I visited friends in Oregon to make purchases of items that were taxable in Nevada.
The weekend of the “sales tax holiday” I walked downtown and participated in supporting the local downtown Salem merchants. I stocked up on all my dogs needs and got a few things for myself. I went home feeling good that my purchases helped to keep the local economy running.
Rolling back the sales tax will give me an incentive to continue spending my hard earned cash in the local economy.