SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — In the late night hours of the legislature’s closing session, state lawmakers also passed legislation designed to stimulate the economy. One part of that bill was the tax free weekend.
The sales tax holiday will happen again in Massachusetts the weekend of August 11th and 12th.
It’s the eighth tax holiday in the last nine years. Shoppers save some money on big ticket items.
Merchants, like John Ansart of Skip’s Outdoor Accents in Agawam, see it as a way of jump starting sales during a sluggish time of year. He says, “For us, the tax free holiday weekend is probably the biggest two days of the year. That includes the Big E, various home shows that we do and beautiful weekends where people come out and have some free food and beverages.”
John Borys of Borys Fine Furniture and Bedding in Chicopee says it’s also one of his busiest business weekends. “It’s busy, it’s very busy. You do in a weekend what you would average probably in two months.”
Ansart is expecting a weekend so big at Skip’s, that he encourages customers to come in before the 11th and 12th to avoid a long wait and make things smoother for his sales people. In other words, buy now, pay on the tax free weekend. He adds, “We don’t have enough time to wait on all the customers on the tax free weekend, so it’s better if they come in, in advance.”
So, on the 11th and 12th, most items will be exempt from the state’s 6 and a quarter percent sales tax. Among the things that will still be taxed are restaurant meals, cars and motorboats, tobacco and any single item that costs more than $2,500. It’s estimated the state loses about 20 million dollars in revenue during the tax-free weekend.
The sales tax holiday was included in a bill providing nearly $30 million in state grants to spur economic development. It would fund research projects at the UMass and other state universities with matching grants, create a small business online resource and provide workforce training.