New Push For August Meals Tax Holiday

Folks eat at a restaurant.

The Joint Committee on Revenue in the Massachusetts legislature held a hearing this week on the notion of a potential meals tax holiday for August and one supporting group liking its chances.

According to the state’s Restaurant and Business Alliance (R.A.B.A), the hearing held Tuesday for the Meals Tax Holiday Bill saw “no sign of opposition” to the measure.

Twelve legislators have signed on to the bill primarily sponsored by Rep. Keiko Orrall of Lakeville and Sen. Michael O. Moore of Millbury.

If passed, the legislation would go into effect from Sunday, Aug. 11 through Thursday, Aug. 15.

“We should offer a Meals Tax Holiday to benefit employees and small local business owners inside Massachusetts to help stimulate the economy,” said Dave Andelman, R.A.B.A. president in a statement. “The Restaurant and Business Alliance is proud to support this legislation that will help every waiter, waitress, bartender and hospitality worker in Massachusetts.”

“I am focused on helping small businesses and believe that this legislation is a great way to highlight restaurants in the Commonwealth. I am looking forward to seeing this pass this session,” Orrall said in the same statement.

Moore said the legislation would “help relieve some of the burdens” of higher food costs for businesses.

But not everyone in the State House thinks the meals tax holiday is a great idea. It got shot down last year in the House by a vote of 116-to-36, according to the Boston Globe. Rep. Jay Kaufman (D-Lexington) called it  a “gimmick” and “bad public policy,” adding that restaurants could use pricing specials or other promotions to encourage business, the Globe article states.

SOUTH END PATCH: Facebook | Twitter | E-mail Updates

South End Patch