Baker proposing tax free weekend August 19-20

Up to this point, Legislature has not approved a tax-free weekend for this year

BOSTON (WWLP) – It is August- the time of year when Massachusetts customarily offers a sales tax holiday, designed to boost sales at retail stores statewide. So far, however, the Legislature has not voted on a tax holiday for this year, meaning that without further action, this will be the second year in a row in which no tax holiday was held.

On Wednesday, Governor Charlie Baker filed a bill that would set aside August 19 and 20 as this year’s sales tax holiday.

“The sales tax holiday gives consumers a much-needed break and supports business across the Commonwealth for our hardworking retailers,” Baker said in a news release sent to 22News. “We look forward to working with the Legislature to make this important weekend possible, so the Commonwealth can shop local and make purchases tax free.”

Some lawmakers have questioned whether a sales tax holiday is affordable with the state’s slow revenue growth. Tax revenues came in $431 million below expectations for the 2017 fiscal year.

The Legislature is now out of formal session, and it is not clear whether they will take up the governor’s legislation in time.

The governor’s move comes as the Retailers Association of Massachusetts is considering advancing a ballot question that would cut the state sales tax, and make the sales tax holiday permanent- getting rid of the need for annual reauthorization.