BOSTON — Appointees to the state Senate’s Task Force on Strengthening Massachusetts Local Retail were announced Wednesday by Senate President Stan Rosenberg and Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, a Gloucester Republican. 

The task force is charged with identifying ways to help local retailers become more competitive, and is taking shape as retail sector leaders mull a ballot question to reduce the 6.25 percent sales tax to either 5 percent or 4.5 percent. 

Senators on the task force include its chairman, Michael Rodrigues, as well as Michael Barrett, Julian Cyr, Jason Lewis, Kathleen O’connor-Ives, Vinny Demacedo and Don Humason.

Retailers appointed by Tarr are Christopher Carlozzi, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, John Cahill of Landry & Arcani Rugs in Salem, and Christopher Connolly, president of the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association.

Rosenberg also appointed Judy Herrell, owner of Herrell’s Ice Cream in Northampton, Peter Kavanaugh of La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries in Dartmouth, Barry Rotman, board chairman of Rotman’s Furniture in Worcester, and retail consultant Malcolm Sherman.

Other appointees are Jim Carvalho, political director of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1445, Harris Gruman, executive director of the SEIU Massachusetts State Council, and Jon Hurst, president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts.

The task force is charged with reporting its recommendations by June 1, 2018.


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