BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts retailers are pressing ahead with plans to put a question on next year's ballot that would lower the state's sales tax rate.

Retailers Association of Massachusetts President Jon Hurst said Thursday the group will begin gathering voter signatures this weekend to ensure a spot on the 2018 ballot.

The question would lower the state's 6.25 percent sales tax to 5 percent and mandate an annual sales tax holiday.

The retailers say the measure will not only help store owners, but would benefit seniors and low-income families.

Retailers say they are struggling from competition from New Hampshire, which has no sales tax, and from online sellers, many of which do not collect sales taxes.

Critics say the sales tax cut would be a huge hit to the state's revenues.