Mass. shoppers will likely have a sales tax holiday this year

Supporters are aiming for the weekend of August 15 and 16

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – State lawmakers have a better idea of whether they can afford the August sales tax holiday now that the budget is on the Governor’s desk.

“I would bet that we will have a sales tax holiday. That’s still to be determined,” said State Representative Joe Wagner (D-Chicopee).

State lawmakers are still considering whether to have the annual sales tax-free weekend. Governor Charlie Baker says people would be more likely to spend their money during the slowest shopping month of the year. He told reporters, “Well, we’ve done it previously and I think it’s proven to be a pretty effective tool for consumers and retailers.”

Massachusetts shoppers tend to wait for that one weekend in August to buy those big ticket items. For two days out of the year, the state waives the 6.25 percent sales tax for purchases less than $2,500. Gas, meals and tobacco would still be subject to tax. It is a few extra bucks in your pocket, but there is a downside. The state loses out on tens of millions of dollars in sales tax revenue from one weekend alone.

“We want people to go out and shop and spend their discretionary dollars. We understand that in promoting that idea, that it’s costing the state revenue,” added Wagner.

Lawmakers wanted to wait and see whether there were tax policy changes in the state budget before committing to a sales tax holiday this year. Although a final decision has yet to be made, supporters are aiming for the weekend of August 15 and 16.

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