Friday, July 31, 2015

Sales Tax Holiday on Tap for August

Tarr Bill Evolves Into Law


Boston-  Consumers in Massachusetts will realize $25 million in savings as a result of legislation that marks August 15th and 16th as a state sales tax free weekend.  Lawmakers gave final approval of the bill Thursday and sent it to Governor Baker for his expected approval.

Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) praised supporters of the bill for extending the tax-less weekend, “While we need to continue to pursue more lasting sales tax relief, this two-day holiday offers a chance for consumers to get a break while supporting local businesses we need to sustain and grow the Massachusetts economy.”

Tarr’s original bill establishing a permanent sales tax holiday for one weekend per year was used as the legislative vehicle by the House and Senate to authorize a one year tax reprieve this August on items less than $2,500.  The tax holiday has been granted to consumers annually since 2004 with one exception in 2009.  


“Hopefully the weekend of August 15 and 16 will see robust activity by consumers, and a boost for the retailers that depend on their business,” said Tarr.

The Retailers Association of Massachusetts reports that the retail sector employs an addition 627 workers as a result of the tax holiday.  They say that consumer spending rises in Massachusetts during the tax holiday and results in more in-state sales that might otherwise migrate to New Hampshire or online.   According to a recent Beacon Hill Institute survey, 72% of respondents say they are more likely to shop nearby and keep spending local instead of buying online or in New Hampshire.

Members of the Legislature gave final approval of the bill yesterday by adding an emergency preamble which will result in the law being operative upon Governor Baker signature.  Baker, a supporter of the tax-free holiday, has indicated his intention of signing the bill into law.