BOSTON — One of the candidates in a Senate special election for the district that includes Rehoboth and Norton is bidding to make the sales tax holiday an issue in that race, while his opponent says he’ll try to impose new ethical standards on the Legislature.
The two-day suspension of the 6.25 percent sales tax during an August weekend has over the years been a favored form of tax relief, perennially approved by the Legislature, but appears this year to be on the verge of failing without as much as a vote by the two committees charged with reviewing the idea.
“The Legislature should make it a priority to pass this bill to give relief to small businesses and consumers,” Bristol and Norfolk District candidate Jacob Ventura, a Republican attorney from Attleboro, said in a statement Wednesday. “When elected to the state senate, I will file legislation that will make the annual sales tax holiday permanent and advocate lowering the sales tax to 5 percent.”
Another candidate, Republican Mike Berry of Walpole, plans to leave his state Department of Transportation job this week to campaign full-time. If elected, Berry plans to file legislation banning lawmakers from appearing before state and local agencies on behalf of private clients.
Berry’s campaign says he “is the only candidate in the Republican primary who has made both a full-time commitment to campaigning as well as committing to being a full-time legislator.”
A third Republican candidate, Tim Hempton of Walpole, plans to pursue adequate funding for K-12 education, policies to foster small business growth, and public safety proposals, including benefits for veterans.
Ventura and Berry are among the candidates running for the seat that opened up when former Sen. James Timilty, a Walpole Democrat, resigned this year to become the treasurer of Norfolk County. The district includes Mansfield, Norton, Rehoboth, Seekonk, Foxborough, Medfield, and portions of Attleboro and Sharon.
The special election primary is Sept. 19 and the final election is Oct. 17.