A budget amendment filed in late April in the House of Representatives, which threatened to expand the state sales tax on goods, was withdrawn from consideration thanks in large part to the REALTOR® members who participated in the Call For Action (CFA) regarding the issue.
Amendment #28 was filed by Representative Peter Kocot (D) Northampton and would expand the state’s sales tax on goods to include services. This appeared to include real estate services, legal services, health care services, accounting services etc. If passed, the language of the amendment indicated that there would be a new 5% sales tax due on all real estate commissions paid in the Commonwealth.
MAR strongly opposed the proposal believing that the imposition of this new sales tax on services could have serious implications on the affordability of homes in Massachusetts. A sales tax on real estate services would have a direct impact on home prices across the state and further impact lower and middle-income homebuyers as this tax would be paid by the consumer.
A Call For Action was issued by MAR President Gary Rogers in late April. After a record setting 12% of the membership responded to the CFA to oppose the amendment, sending emails to all 160 state representatives from across the state, Rep. Kocot withdrew the amendment from consideration. As a result of the withdrawal no vote took place on the issue. The success on this issue was a direct result of MAR’s ability to demonstrate its strength in numbers and the success of the Calls For Action program.