Sunday, January 2, 2011

I never thought I would see this happen in Mass.

Finally, a state woke up.  I’ve written about Sin Taxes before (HERE and HERE), but I never thought I would be writing because someone woke up……and I really never thought it would be in Tax-a-chusetts.  But I have been proven wrong.

I particularly love the woman (who doesn’t drink that often) who voted to repeal, yet is now having second thoughts wondering who is going to pay for all the social programs.  In other words, it’s ok to bend others over to fund social programs…as long as it’s not me.

Congrats to Mass. on taking a step away from socialism…..and enjoy the booze Smile


New Year’s Day marked the end of the sales tax on beer, wine and alcohol in Massachusetts.

For some Central Massachusetts imbibers, it was not the money that bothered them, but the principle of the sales tax on alcoholic beverages, which ended yesterday.
“It was a double tax,” said Ron Mason of Rutland. He and his wife, Angie Mason, voted in the November election to repeal the 6.25 percent sales tax that was imposed by the state a year ago. Mrs. Mason said she liked the idea of buying wine and not being charged an extra tax. Since alcohol imported into the state is subject to an excise tax under state law, the additional 6.25 percent was perceived as a double tax.
“Another good reason for us is her son is a salesman for booze. His commission started going down because sales went down,” added Mr. Mason.
New Year’s Day marked the end of the sales tax on beer, wine and alcohol in Massachusetts. The Legislature increased the sales tax from 5 percent to 6.25 percent in July 2009, and eliminated the exemption for alcohol sold in liquor stores.
“I love it,” said Danielle Davis of Worcester. She stopped by East Side Discount Liquor on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester yesterday afternoon to purchase some Newcastle beer, and was happy not to have to pay the sales tax.
Sandy Yesket and Miguel Diaz were on duty as cashiers at the liquor store Friday and yesterday. Ms. Yesket, a cashier at the store for 15 years, said some customers on Friday wanted to put liquor on hold until Sunday.
“There’s no sales tax today, is there?” Ms. Yesket said she was frequently asked yesterday. She said she was happy to assure them the sales tax was history.
Ms. Yesket voted to repeal the sales tax, but Mr. Diaz voted not to.
“I don’t really buy a lot of liquor, but I voted because of the principle,” Ms. Yesket said. “But now I’m a little worried; I wonder where the money is going to come from (to pay for state-funded programs).”
Mr. Diaz said he voted against removing the tax because he was worried about the state losing necessary social programs. State legislators have estimated that the 6.25 percent sales tax generated about $100 million in revenue for the state. He said customers have been asking about the repeal since the election.
“Everyone was coming in and wondering when — and if — it was going to happen,” Mr. Diaz said. “The big complaint was that it was a double tax.”
The Massachusetts Package Stores Association urged voters prior to the election to vote to repeal the sales tax. Frank Anzalotti, executive director of the association, said liquor retailers are celebrating because many Massachusetts residents traveled out of state to purchase liquor to avoid paying the tax.
“Package store owners across the state are indebted to their customers and to the voters of Massachusetts for their support of the repeal of the double tax on alcohol,” Mr. Anzalotti said in a news release.
Michael P. Astukewicz, assistant manager at Yankee Spirits in Sturbridge, said he hopes the tax repeal will bring back the store’s Connecticut customers. The store was busier Sunday afternoon than expected.
“Liquor stores near New Hampshire suffered the most,” Mr. Astukewicz said. “But we definitely did lose business to Connecticut.”
Repeal of the sales tax at liquor stores does not affect the sale of alcohol at restaurants.

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