Category Archives: Massachusetts

MA sales tax holiday August 15-16

massachusettsGov. Charlie Baker announced this past Thursday that a sales tax holiday will take place the weekend of August 15th. The tax-free holiday suspend the 6.25% sales tax on purchases for the weekend.  Sales tax will remain for any item costing more than $2,500, cigarettes and other big-ticket purchases.  More details here.

Will Massachusetts legalize marijuana

smoking weed, pot, 420Both Governor Charlie Baker and Mayor Marty Walsh have made it clear that they oppose legalizing marijuana. However, there is a push to ask voters if they would be interested in legalizing marijuana for recreational use on the 2016 ballot. According to a Boston Globe poll in 2014 more than half indicated they support complete legalization of marijuana in the state.

What could the state of MA do with an additional $70 million?

This is important because there are a lot of misconceptions about what legalizing marijuana might lead to. So it was interesting to see that one year after the state of Washington legalized the sale and use of marijuana none of the issues that Governor Baker and Mayor Walsh rail against have come true; moreover, Washington State’s data points echo those from Colorado – the first state to legalize recreational use of marijuana.

  • WA state earned more than $70 million in taxes from marijuana sales. Doubling the original marijuana tax revenue forecast of $36 million for the first year of sales (source: Washington State Liquor Board).
  • Marijuana usage by kids in Middle and High School did not increase over the past year in Washington State (source: HealthYouthSurvey).
  • Adults arrested for marijuana possession fell from 5,500 to 120 people freeing up local law enforcement agencies and the courts (source:

So let’s stop our annoying Nancy Reagan “Just Say No” knee jerk reaction to all things related to pot.  The parochial attitude seems patronizing and out of step. Adults are using marijuana and the drug is not showing itself to be a gateway drug nor is crime running rampant in the states that have legalized it; actually quite the contrary has been found. The only surprising fact is how much money these states are making in tax revenues.

Oxford English Dictionary adds “Masshole”

BosTongue, MassholeEarlier this week the Oxford English Dictionary added the word Masshole, formalizing a term well known to frustrated drivers throughout the Northeast.  The dictionary defines the term as a piece of “coarse slang” meaning “a term of contempt for a native or inhabitant of the state of Massachusetts,”  Masshole was one of nearly 500 words added to the dictionary, along with twerk, sext, hyperlocal, freegan, fratty, and fo’ shizzle.

You can read the full article in The Boston Globe, here.

Hourly wage required to afford a 2BR rental in each state

cost of living by stateClick on the image above to enlarge image

The National Low Income Housing Coalition has calculated the hourly wage a resident would need to earn to afford a moderate, two-bedroom apartment in each state. They found that the average hourly wage needed to rent a $1,006 two-bedroom unit in the United States is $19.35 ($40,240 per year); it is $24.64 (51,250 per year) in Massachusetts.

Unsurprisingly, Massachusetts (along with pretty much the entire Northeast and Mid Atlantic states) is listed as one of the most expensive places to live. Massachusetts can do better and news earlier this year that Boston is building more affordable homes / apartments is good but we have to do better.

Memorial Day tribute

Memorial Day Boston CommonWhat a beautiful tribute:  37,000 flags placed on the Boston Common to represent every Massachusetts military member who died in service.  Photo by Katherine Larson.

Attention wine lovahs

Amisfield Pinot Gris 2012, New ZealandLast week, local blogger, Richard Auffrey, wrote a post  on his blog, The Passionate Foodie, that wine lovers in MA need to know about called, Rant: A Plea To Wine Lovers In Massachusetts.

In his post, (which I encourage you to read – use the link above), he explains some of the details of our state’s new Direct Shipment Law.  However, what I wanted to focus on was his plea that wine lovers contact their favorite U.S. wineries and tell them you want to be able to get their wines shipped to you. These wineries need to know that a demand for their wines exists and it will be financially advantageous to apply for a Direct Wine Shipper license.

Write a letter or email to your favorite wineries or contact them through your preferred social media outlet and most importantly – get the word out to your friends to do the same.

When will MA legalize marijuana

potAccording to an article in The Boston Globe last month, a local group called Bay State Repeal is organizing and collecting signatures for a ballot question in 2016 that, if passed, would legalize and regulate recreational marijuana in Massachusetts. A more powerful national group, Marijuana Policy Project, also organized a referendum committee, which is considered a first step in a process that is less than two years away.

Polls indicate that Massachusetts supports such legislation with ballot initiatives in 2008 and again in 2012 approved by 63% of voters.  I understand and have heard the arguments against legalizing marijuana, but I still would rather have it regulated and sold legally.  What do you think of such an initiative if it is brought to a vote?