BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker is mounting a late bid to return the popular sales tax holiday this year, formally asking lawmakers who have already begun their summer break to approve a proposal to hold the tax-free weekend in just 17 days.
The governor’s plan received an underwhelming reaction from legislative leaders, with one calling the idea a “colossal mistake.”
Baker announced Wednesday that he would file legislation declaring a sales tax holiday for Saturday, Aug. 19 and Sunday, Aug. 20.
“The sales tax holiday gives consumers a much needed break and supports business across the Commonwealth for our hardworking retailers,” Baker said in a statement. “We look forward to working with the Legislature to make this important weekend possible, so the Commonwealth can shop local and make purchases tax free.”
“We’ve heard from a lot of folks who said to us that this is really important to them,” Baker added in a WBZ NewsRadio interview. “It’s important to downtowns, it’s important to main streets, and we just think it’s the right thing to do.”
Baker announced he’s filing the bill came on the same day that he plans to sign an employer-based health care assessment, a proposal businesses have likened to a new tax. The governor ran in 2014 on a campaign built in part on opposition to new fees and higher taxes.
The tax holiday’s fate is uncertain since the House and Senate are on summer recess and if a holiday bill — similar bills are pending before two committees — were to make it to the floor, a single lawmaker could block its progress with a mere objection. The House and Senate plan to meet at least twice a…
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