Not fond of taxes?
Well, this weekend everyone can avoid paying taxes on several items during the state Sales Tax Holiday.
The holiday – passed last week by state government as part of the larger Economic Development Bill – will take place on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 14 and 15th. It exempts most items under $2,500 from the stateâ€™s 6.25 percent sales tax.
Already, retailers are pointing out that this holiday will be more lucrative than the last one, in 2008, because the sales tax rate has gone up from 5 percent to 6.25 percent.
â€œThe last time we had a sales tax holiday, it was at 5 percent,â€ said Alan Belinfante of Revereâ€™s Beach Sales. â€œNow, with 6.25 percent, thatâ€™s a big jump. Thatâ€™s 20 percent more tax savings and I think people will act on that.â€
Most larger retailers like Beach Sales have already started planning for the weekend, adding staff and increasing inventories.
â€œThese sales tax holidays are important because businesses can grow their volume in a slow time and August is usually a slow retail month,â€ said Belinfante. â€œIt gives business a chance to keep their employees working and working overtime…It just gives everybody a little bump.â€
The Home Depot in Chelsea has already begun several adjustments.
â€œWeâ€™re preparing the store and making sure there will be enough staffing to take care of the customer demand,â€ said Maria Reyes, specialty assistant store manager. â€œThe tax-free days always seem to be a big hit. We do have a lot of special buys coming in and a lot of promotions happening for the weekend.â€
She indicated that the Chelsea store would be extending their hours on Saturday and Sunday, staying open until midnight both days.
Additionally, Beach Sales is also opening extended hours, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
At the Loweâ€™s in Saugus, that store will be offering a promotion of 10 percent off all Energy Star appliances in addition to the tax-free purchase.
â€œThere is no better time for Massachusetts residents to purchase ENERGY STAR and WaterSense products,â€ said Michael Chenard, Loweâ€™s director of environmental affairs. â€œThese products can significantly reduce energy and water consumption and decrease utility bills throughout the year for the homeowner.â€
Just about every participating store agreed that customers would be hot for big-ticket items like televisions, clothes washers and refrigerators.
â€œI think it will be major appliances people have been holding off on and, again, large screen TVs will be hot,â€ said Belinfante.
â€œLarge ticket items like appliances are a big item on tax-free day,â€ said Reyes. â€œWe will be having a credit promotion for the customers that have a Home Depot card – 12 months with no interest and low payments.â€
Though most items are tax-exempt, including the smallest of purchases, there are some exceptions.
The following do not qualify for the sales tax holiday exemption and remain subject to tax: all motor vehicles, motorboats, meals, telecommunications services, gas, steam, electricity, tobacco products and any single item whose price is in excess of $2,500.