The Sales Tax Cut Question

At the Plymouth County GOP gathering gubernatorial candidate Christy Mihos touted his support for a possible ballot question that would cut the sales tax from 6.25% to 3% and received loud applause from the packed room at the Rockland Holiday Inn. The sales tax roll back is something Mihos is using in his stump speeches and actively promoting on his website.

Charlie Baker, the current front runner in the race for the GOP nomination, has said that he is unsure of the proposed cut to 3% and currently only supports a cut down to 5%. This position is not surprising from Baker because he doesn’t need to make a splash with the party base. The latest polling on the race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination showed Baker with 43% of the vote and Mihos with 19%, the rest remain undecided.  Baker is a clean cut candidate with a spectacular resume boasting extensive experience in government and the private sector.

Mihos is still hurting among many activists in the party because of his choice to run for governor in 2006 as an independent. Mihos is rough around the edges as a political candidate but as a small business owner he has a very strong working class, everyman quality that Baker cannot match as a high powered executive.

What must be asked is why would a Republican candidate not support cutting the sales tax to 3%? The latest polling numbers indicate 59% of the voters support the ballot initiative to cut the sales tax to 3%. Plus it is not nearly as bold a proposition as the last one Center for Small Government proposed: eliminating the state income tax. The proposal to eliminate the state income tax was an extremely bold one and faced little chance of passing in the face of well organized and big government union funded opposition.

I understood Republicans opposing the complete elimination of the income tax. It was an extremely bold idea and maybe too bold for some. I find it difficult for Republicans – even elected ones – to oppose cutting the sales tax to 3%.

Cutting the state sales tax to 3% is a real possibility and it is something that a serious Republican like Baker should support.

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