Businesses prepare for tax free weekend

Sales tax break costs the state $20-25 million

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– For two days a year, state lawmakers give you a chance to shop without paying the added 6.25% sales tax by holding a sales tax free weekend.

Darya Sidryuk of West Springfield, told 22News that she wishes the state held a sales tax free weekend more often. “I’d buy a nice couch, a bigger T.V., and some trinkets for myself,” she said.

For consumers, the weekend is often a good incentive to make a purchase that they have been putting off for a while, but lawmakers who oppose the idea argue it costs the state too much money as they lose about $20-25 million in revenue. Some suggest that added cost is why lawmakers waited until the last day of the Legislature’s formal session to go ahead with the tax break, which is part of the economic development bill.

Which weekend the tax break would fall was also a source of debate this year, but on Wednesday night, lawmakers settled on August 16 and 17; giving stores only two weeks to prepare.

Brian Zippan, the President of Contractor’s Home Appliances in West Springfield, told 22News that to have more notice is helpful, but either way, they are looking forward to the surge of business the weekend brings in during the typically slower summer months.

“Two weeks is all the time we have. So we don’t have much of a choice, but we certainly would love to have a month or six weeks to prepare for it. The fact that we knew it was coming gave us an opportunity to start thinking and get things ready to roll, so when we heard about the date we could then be on the move,” Zippan said.

Zippan also said that last year, they did about a month’s worth of business in just that weekend.

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