Consumers are taking the advantage of the state sales tax holiday Saturday to purchase school supplies, laptops, and flat-screen televisions. Massachusetts shoppers looking for deals are expected to crowd local stores for another sales tax free weekend. In what is becoming an annual event, the state will suspend the 6.25 percent tax on Saturday and Sunday. The state has had a sales tax holiday in all but one year since 2004.
The tax-free holiday allows shoppers to save the 6.25% they would normally pay as sales tax, as long as the item is less than $2,500 mark. For many, there were plenty of deals within that price range.
“Lot of people shopping and stuff. And the prices, they’re good,” remarked one shopper.
It’s a win–win situation for both customers and businesses as customers are saving money while businesses are getting more customers due to the lower prices and media attention.
A study commissioned by the retail organization found that this year’s holiday would generate up to $200 million in sales that would normally go to online retailers and sellers in New Hampshire. Last year, the weekend saved consumers nearly $25 million in sales taxes, compared with nearly $15 million in 2008, according to the state Department of Revenue.
Governor Charlie Baker, who signed the holiday into law this year, marked the event with a trip to BJ’s Wholesale Club in Danvers, where he bought a television set for himself. He later tweeted, “Bakers now own a flat screen” and included a picture of a 55-inch Samsung curved-screen television.
Some lawmakers oppose the temporary sales tax break though. State Senator William Brownsberger has voted against the legislation this year after being a supporter in the past.
“The expense that the Commonwealth incurs is significant in comparison to the actual economic benefits of the event,” he said. “There’s been an accumulation of evidence that these holidays just don’t work. They don’t benefit people in need.”