Essex 14th: Question 4 -- Sales Tax
State Rep. David Torrisi and challenger Kevin Begley discuss the sales tax.
As a way to inform our readers about the candidates, Patch asked the two candidates for state representative in the Essex 14th precinct five questions that focused on topics ranging from the state budget to school funding.
Here is Question 4:
North Andover, like most communities in the Merrimack Valley, is a border town. Border towns have lost business since the state's sales tax was raised to 6.5 percent. What would you like to see happen with the sales tax, and why?
David Torrisi (D)
I am proud to have voted against the sales tax increase which was passed last year. I felt strongly that raising taxes in this economy would be an enormous burden on both consumers and local businesses. For this reason, I will continue to support a rollback of the sales tax to 5% and I promise to actively advocate for such a change at the State House.
Kevin Begley (R)
Hopefully the ballot question will pass reducing the tax from 6.25% to 3 percent. This will give the Merrimack Valley merchants a better chance of capturing the local shopper. There is a lot of talk about people running to New Hampshire to shop tax-free and I'm glad that we have that option living so close to the state line. But what about residents that don't live this close? We forget about them. What you don't hear the governor and the legislators talk about are the high priced necessities that you can't avoid being taxed on; automobiles, trucks, air conditioning and heating units, etc. There's a big difference between 6.25 percent and 3 percent, both to the family man buying a car/truck and the business owner buying machinery needed to grow his business.