Tax-free weekend saw local retailers busy with increased shoppers

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BARRY: MASSACHUSETTS STORES SAW AN INCREASE IN SALES OVER THE TAX FREE HOLIDAY WEEKEND. 22NEWS REPORTER NICK ARESCO IS AT OUR HAMPSHIRE COUNTY BUEARU WITH A RECAP ON HOW IT HELPED BOOST THE LOCAL ECONOMY. NICK ARESCO: IT WAS A BUSY WEEKEND FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES — AS CUSTOMERS SEARCHED FOR THOSE HOT DEALS WHILE PAING NO SALES TAX. THE MASSACHUSETTS TAX FREE WEEKEND MAY BE OVER — BUT BUSINESSES ARE STILL TALKING ABOUT THEIR BOOMING SALES. STORES LIKE COMPETITIVE EDGE SKI AND BIKE SHOP IN EASTHAMPTON WERE BUSY WITH CUSTOMERS. MANY TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE EXEMPT FROM THE STATE’S 6.25% SALES TAX. THE SALES TAX UP TO $2500 WE HAD PEOPLE THAT HAD BEEN SHOPPING BIKES UP TO $2000 FOR THE MOST PART SO THEY KIND OF KNEW WHERE THAT THRESHOLD WAS SO THEY FIGURED IT WAS WELL WORTH IT TO SAVE $100 OR SO. THE STATE LOSES ABOUT $26 MILLION IN ANNUAL TAX REVENUE DURING THE EVENT — BUT YES COMPUTERS IN NORTHAMPTON SAID IT HELPS GET CUSTOMERS THROUGH THEIR DOORS — INSTEAD OF THEM TAKING THERE BUSINESS TO ANOTHER STATE WHERE THEY DON’T HAVE SALES TAX YEAR-ROUND. COMPUTERS ARE A PRIMARY MODE OF BUSINESSM WE SOLD LOTS OF THOSE, A LOT OF ACCESSORIES. PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO DRIVE A SHORTER DISTANCE TO TO US AS OPPOSED TO DRIVING TO KEENE, NEW HAMPSHIRE TO FIND GOOD SALES AT A LOCAL PRICE. THE HOLIDAY WAS ABOUT A WEEK LATER THAN LAST YEAR’S EVENT, WHEN THE ANNUAL, TWO-DAY EXEMPTION RETURNED AFTER MASSACHUSETTS LAWMAKERS DECIDED TO FORGO IT IN 2016 AND 2017 BECAUSE OF BUDGET GAPS. LAWMAKERS PASSED A LAW IN 2018 THAT PERMANENTLY CREATES A TAX HOLIDAY WEEKEND EVERY YEAR. CARS, BOATS, TOBACCO, MARIJUANA AND RESTAURANT MEALS WERE NOT PART OF THE SALES TAX WEEKEND. NICK ARESCO: CONNECTICUT’S SALES TAX-FREE WEEK BEGAN ON SUNDAY AND RUNS THROUGH AUGUST 24. NA, 22NEWS.

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