Boston – The Massachusetts Senate on Tuesday approved an August sales tax holiday weekend for 2008, making it the fourth year the Commonwealth will provide a sales tax exemption for an entire weekend, and the fifth year that at least one tax free day has been approved.
State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield) explains that a tax holiday may come at a fortuitous time for many cost conscious consumers needing to make big-ticket purchases. “In recent years, Massachusetts consumers have taken advantage of tax holiday weekends, buying home appliances, computers, laptops and other big items,” said Downing. “The boost in sales will also help retailers at a time when sales are typically down.”
This year’s tax free weekend will be August 16th and 17th. Tax holidays benefit large and small retail businesses alike, and they are especially helpful to parents making larger school purchases, such as computers, for their children. As in previous years, almost all purchases under $2,500 will be tax-free. Vehicles, motorized boats, tobacco, meals and utilities are excluded.
The Senate has consistently supported a sales tax holiday, citing the bump in sales for local businesses as an economic plus that outweighs any cost to the Commonwealth. Total sales revenue for last year’s tax free weekend produced nearly $500 million in sales. Consumer activity is comparable to that of the busy holiday season.
The bill will now go to the Governor for his signature.