Mass. Retailers Laud Tax-Free Weekend

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Massachusetts retailers are calling the recent sales tax holiday a huge success, though state tax officials estimate that it could cost the state $20 million to $25 million in potential revenue.

The Massachusetts Retailers Association says total statewide sales on Saturday and Sunday may have exceeded the group's $500 million prediction for the tax-free weekend.

Association spokesman Bill Rennie says that translates into as much as a month's worth of sales at some stores.

"We did have a few furniture members reporting that their sales on Saturday were approaching the full month of August 2009," Rennie said.

Joseph Wagner, owner of Wagner Rug Co. in Westfield, tells the Republican newspaper of Springfield that his store was so busy on Saturday his employees barely had a chance to eat.

Department of Revenue spokesman Robert Bliss says the estimates on lost tax revenue are only preliminary and it may be months before there are final numbers.

The tax holiday was the first in Massachusetts since the sales tax rate was increased to 6.25 percent from 5 percent.

This program aired on August 17, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.