Sales tax holiday moves closer to reality

Posted by Jeremy Shulkin

Yesterday the state House voted overwhelmingly in favor of an amendment that would create a sales tax holiday this year for the weekend of August 14 and 15. According to Worcester Rep. John Binienda’s office, the Senate passed a similar amendment, so the motion just has to pass through a conference committee and get signed by the governor. The Globe, however, says the Senate still has to vote on it.

The holiday, which started in 2004 but didn’t happen last year, would let stores waive the state’s 6.25% sales tax on anything under $2,500 (notable exceptions are for tobacco, motor boats and meals).

Binienda, who co-sponsored the amendment, explained the reasoning for bringing this back was because the state’s tax revenue looks like it’s bouncing back.

“The only reason I thought about it this year is because the tax revenues have been terrible. May was a great month. June looks like a good month,” he says, while adding that last year’s sales tax hike was also a factor. This would provide a “break for residents,” as he put it.

Governor Deval Patrick has said he likes the idea, but hasn’t committed to signing the holiday into law, suggesting more study needs to be done to see how it will affect an already tight budget.

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