Letter: The fight for retailers is for fairer tax code

Posted
To the editor:

In your Sept. 26 editorial, "Don't cut sales tax, level tax playing field" you overstate the impact of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue's action to require all online retailers doing business in the Bay State to charge the 6.25 percent sales tax.

Certainly, retailers welcome this step, but it is likely only the first step in a long legal process. Retailers have been fighting for a level sales tax playing field for decades. I compete everyday with online sellers that dodge their obligation to collect. In past years, the state sales tax holiday has at least given me a chance for two days a year to compete fairly — but the legislature took that away the past two years.

Everyone is quick to dismiss the holiday as a gimmick. But it's a gimmick that works. I can attest to how my customers have responded over the years.

The proposed ballot question to lower the sales tax and pass a tax holiday is good for consumers and good for the local economy. It could also be the first step toward a discussion of a fairer tax code — one that is less reliant on a regressive sales tax that can readily be avoided.

Tom Rich,

Pittsfield

The writer is owner of Paul Rich & Sons Home Furnishings + Design.

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