Panel Moves Mass. Sales Tax Holiday Forward
Shoppers could be enjoying another Massachusetts sales tax holiday this summer.
A proposed bill would waive the state's 6.25 percent sales tax on most items sold during the weekend of Aug. 13-14. Under the bill, sales taxes would still be imposed on single items priced above $2,500.
The holiday on Monday cleared a state legislative committee. It now heads to the House.
Previous sales tax holidays have been popular with shoppers and retailers, but costly in lost revenue. Retailers say the weekend would generate a month's worth of sales in just two days. Officials said Massachusetts consumers saved nearly $20 million during a tax-free weekend last August.
But Judy Meredith, executive director of The Public Policy Institute, which advocates for the poor, says cutting revenue after so many major state budget cuts makes no sense.
"Cuts that add up to a half a billion dollars we've already made. Painful political choices to make, especially for those affected. Let's not make it worse," Meredith said.
Momentum has been building for another sales tax holiday in recent weeks as state tax collections continue to exceed benchmarks. Senate President Therese Murray said last week that there was "mostly a consensus" among legislative leaders and Gov. Deval Patrick for another tax-free weekend this summer.
With reporting from The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom
This program aired on July 25, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.