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Massachusetts shoppers expected to spend half-billion dollars over tax-free weekend

CBS Boston logo CBS Boston 8/14/2022 Ken MacLeod

BOSTON – This is the one weekend a year in Massachusetts where you don't have to factor in the state sales tax on most items, and customers are expected to take advantage in a big way.

Customers have spent tax-free weekend purchasing furniture, electronics, clothing and back-to-school items among other things. So what do you need to know before you fill up your cart on Sunday?

The Sales Tax Holiday usually sends shoppers scrambling for bigger ticket items, on which saving 6.25% adds up to real money.

"Without this promotion, frankly consumers would not be in stores," Jon Hurst from the Retailers Association of Massachusetts told WBZ-TV.

Experts say this will likely be the third-biggest retail weekend of the year, behind only Black Friday and the last weekend before Christmas.


Video: Massachusetts sales tax holiday weekend started this Saturday (CBS Boston)

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It also comes at a time where recession-fearing consumers are a bit reluctant to spend. That's why many stores are adding in their own discounts.

"This is the opportunity for the consumer to really grant themselves a tax cut, and also look at real savings at a time when they need it," Hurst said.

With supply chains starting to catch up, many stores have more inventory than they did a year ago.

Massachusetts is one of 18 states that offer a similar incentive. Some shoppers said it is important for the state to hold tax-free weekend to keep shoppers local, instead of having them drive to New Hampshire where there is no sales tax.

"Because otherwise people are going to go up to New Hampshire and spend all their money there when they make big purchases. So it's nice Massachusetts does it once in a while," shopper Brian Nolan said.

Experts said consumers will likely spend half a billion dollars in the state this weekend. You will still have to pay taxes on meals, cars, tobacco and alcohol. 

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