Annual Massachusetts sales tax holiday weekend slated for August amid inflation and rising prices

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Massachusetts’ annual sales tax holiday weekend has been set for August 13 and 14, when shoppers won’t have to pay sales tax on most purchases under $2,500.

The date was chosen and announced on Monday by the Economic Development Committee. State law requires the committee to set the date no later than June 15 each year, or the Department of Revenue may choose.

“Obviously with the inflation issues people are looking for a break from rising prices, so I have a feeling this is going to be one of the most successful tax relief holidays we’ve had,” said state Rep. Jerry Parisella, who co-chairs the committee with Sen. Eric Lesser. “I hear from residents and constituents talking about rising prices for so many things. This will give our Commonwealth people a chance to save a little money on some of the products they might have been waiting to buy.

Parisella said the holidays have always been good for retailers too.

“It’s an opportunity to promote and sell their products,” he said. “We hope this will be good for our small businesses who are struggling to recover from COVID.”

The annual weekend was established and made permanent in 2018 by legislation that also established an increase in the state minimum wage from $11 to $15 over a five-year period, the phasing out of time wage and half on Sundays and public holidays during this period. period and solidified the launch of a state-paid, payroll-funded family and medical leave program.

As part of the negotiations for this law, retailers dropped a push for a ballot question that would have lowered the Massachusetts sales tax from 6.25% to 5%.

The tax holiday does not include certain specific goods or services, including motor vehicles, motor boats, meals, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, marijuana products, telecommunications services, natural gas , steam or electricity.

Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr said ahead of Monday’s vote that while the sales tax exemption was a good step, more needed to be done for consumers.

“While we are here to accomplish at least two days of sales tax relief, I hope that with the time remaining in this session, we will consider further extending this sales tax exemption,” said said Tarr, “as one of the best ways to be able to provide tax relief to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, who are watching these debates and wondering, repeatedly, if we have billions of dollars in surplus and that we are properly funding all of our accounts, so why can’t we find the ability to reach consensus on delivering substantial and responsible tax relief?”

State House News Service material was used in this report.

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