State Budget Woes:Revere Businesses React to Elimination of Tax Holiday; Chamber Feels Sting with Loss of Grant

July 22, 2016

As a result of the state’s fiscal crisis, there will not be a sales tax holiday in Massachusetts this year.

Alan Belinfante of Beach Sales Appliances and Electronics at 80 VFW Parkway said he is “not pleased” by state legislators’ decision to eliminate the holiday that allows consumers to make purchases without paying the additional 6.25 percent sales tax.

Belinfante, who co-owns Beach Sales with his brother-in-law, Howie Freedman, said that the sales tax holiday (in effect every year since 2004 with the exception of 2009) has been the store’s biggest day of the year.

He criticized the legislators for their decision in an interview Tuesday.

“Many of the representatives never had real jobs – they’re career politicians,” said Belinfante. “They started locally on School Committees, on Boards of Selectmen, and worked their way up to the State House. They have no idea. The only people who are going to say, ‘thank you,’ are the businesses in New Hampshire.”

Belinfante said the lack of a state tax holiday “will drive business to the Internet, and lose revenue for the state.”
“Any consumer who was waiting to buy a computer for $3,000, appliances for their home, or ten new windows – is in my opinion, not going to say, ‘let me shop in the Commonwealth and give them some tax revenue to cover the checks that they’ve written that can’t be cashed.”

Belinfante predicts that consumers will drive to New Hampshire where there is no sales tax on goods. “They’re going to shop online or buy there [in New Hampshire],” he said.

Beach Sales co-owners Alan Belifante and Howie Freedman are pictured outside their popular store at 80 VFW Parkway.

Beach Sales co-owners Alan Belifante and Howie Freedman are pictured outside their popular store at 80 VFW Parkway.

According to Belinfante, the biggest seller at Beach Sales on the sales tax holiday has been full, complete kitchen sets.

Belinfante announced that Beach Sales will be honoring the no sales tax holidays on August 13 and 14 for their customers. “We’re going to give the discount equal to the tax,” said Belinfante.

Speaker Robert A. DeLeo was asked by reporters about the decision to not have a sales tax holiday this year.

 “When you have a shortfall that we’re in, to add another $26 million to that shortfall doesn’t make a whole lot of sense,” said DeLeo. “Precisely for the situations like this, it [sales tax holiday] has not been made permanent.”

In other budget-related moves that affected Revere, Governor Charlie Baker vetoed $250,000 for child safety grants for Revere and Winthrop and $25,000 grants for the Revere and Winthrop Chambers of Commerce.

“The House plans to take up both of these vetoes and I’m confident we have the votes to override,” said DeLeo.

Baker also vetoed $250,000 for CAPIC’s Emergency Services Program.

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