, Salem, MA


October 1, 2012

Our view: Go ahead and tax Amazon


Massachusetts residents may recall it was just a few years ago that state lawmakers jacked up the sales tax rate from 5 percent to 6.25 percent, in response to a fiscal crisis. The crisis is gone, but the state is hanging onto that 6.25 percent rate. It's like prying honey from a bear; the state just won't let it go. What's going to happen when the next fiscal crisis arrives?

More importantly, the sales tax is a regressive one — it hurts poorer people more — so it's not a great way for the state to make money in the first place. Keeping it modest is in everyone's best interest; if the state needs more money, the more equitable tax is the income tax.

There's a reason local mayors are helping to lead the charge here. Downtown businesses create jobs, produce tax revenue and stimulate other business activity, all while lifting some of the tax burden off of homeowners' shoulders. Beverly and Peabody are both in the midst of efforts to encourage people to live in their downtowns, as a way to boost retail businesses and create more interesting, livable communities. Salem's vibrant downtown has been a long time in the making, and helping those businesses thrive is in everyone's best interest.

So yes, go ahead and tax Amazon. But take that money and use it to give Main Street a double boost — use it to lower the state's artificially high sales tax rate. Give the people who have the courage to invest in our downtowns a better chance at success.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate