News & Events Sales tax question a costly fight for unions

Unions have pumped more than $1.3 million into the fight against a statewide ballot question designed to lower the Massachusetts sales tax rate from 6.25 percent to 3 percent. The bulk of the money has come from teachers unions, including more than $560,000 from the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the state’s largest teachers union, and another half-million dollars has come from the National Education Association. Critics of the ballot question say there’s no way the state could absorb the loss in revenue without deep cuts, including reductions in aid to cities and towns. A spokesman for the coalition opposed to the question says they hope to raise even more money to run television ads. The question’s backers had less than $18,000 in their account as of mid-September. If the question passes on Nov. 2, the state will lose an estimated $2.5 billion annually. (AP)