Rain Didn’t Dampen The Sales Tax Holiday In Massachusetts
A weekend washout across much of Massachusetts may have boosted consumer spending — and savings — during a sales tax holiday.
“That keeps people from going to the beach or the pool and they think, ‘Why not do some shopping and stay dry indoors?’ ” said Bill Rennie, vice president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts. “It looks like it was a very successful weekend. Some stores are reporting a 40 percent increase over sales for the same weekend last year. Some even well above that.”
The state Department of Revenue will not estimate the sales tax holiday’s fiscal impact until late in the year. It estimated that shoppers saved $25.51 million in sales taxes during the last holiday, in 2015.
A bill signed Friday by Gov. Charlie Baker ensured the holiday’s recurrence in future years.
Karen Anderson, co-owner of Anderson Bicycle in Quincy, said her family-owned store’s sales on Saturday were twice what she would have expected on a typical Saturday.
“It was our busiest day of the year,” she said.
Therese Bourassa-Bernier reported a more modest sales bump at Bourassa Hardware in New Bedford.
“There were people calling earlier in the week about water tanks,” she said. “You know, ‘Do you have ’em?’ And ‘Maybe we can wait till Saturday.’ So I think some of them are purchases that they would have made anyway. I think we made a few more sales that we would not have made.”
Christopher Carlozzi, the Massachusetts state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, said that for his group’s members, “this weekend did mean quite a bit because there were so many negative policies that have been piled on to small businesses this legislative session, whether that was a $15 minimum wage, paid family and medical leave or the MassHealth tax. All of these things were piling up for small businesses and retailers, so the opportunity to have a sales-tax holiday, after a two-year absence, was certainly a good thing.”