February 20, 1981
You represent ********** ("Company"), a small printing firm that uses the offset printing process. You inquire whether sales to the Company of a solution known as "blanket wash" are subject to tax.
In the Company's offset presses, an image is first transferred from a "plate maker" to a "blanket cylinder," then from the blanket cylinder to the printed surface by passing the surface between the blanket cylinder and an "impression cylinder." When the image on the plate maker is changed, old ink is automatically removed from the blanket cylinder by application of blanket wash.
It is assumed for purposes of this ruling that the Company's offset presses are used for no purpose other than the production of printed matter to be sold.
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 64H, Section 6(r) exempts from tax sales of materials, tools and fuel, or any substitute therefor, which are consumed and used directly and exclusively in an industrial plant in the actual manufacture of tangible personal property to be sold.
Based on the foregoing, it is ruled that sales to the .Company of "blanket wash," for presses used exclusively to produce printed matter to be sold, are exempt from tax.
Very truly yours,
/s/L. Joyce Hampers
L. Joyce Hampers
Commissioner of Revenue