Saturday, 2:15 PM
By Globe Staff
Hoping to give shoppers a break and, at the same time, boost retail sales, the state will suspend the 5 percent tax for many items on the weekend of Aug. 16-17.
Governor Deval Patrick signed the sales tax holiday into law today. It's the fifth year in a row a sales tax holiday has been declared.
Patrick said he was glad the state could give people a break in time for back-to-school purchases. "We hope it stimulates all sorts of sales activity during what is otherwise a slow time of year," he said in a statement.
House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi said the sales tax holiday would provide a "shot in the arm" to retailers, while Senate President Therese Murray said it would be "welcomed more than ever in this tough economy."
The sales tax will be suspended for purchases up to $2,500. The exemption will not apply, however, to purchases of telecommunications services, tobacco products, gas, steam, electricity, motor vehicles, motorboats, and meals.
Massachusetts joins more than a dozen states in granting a sales tax holiday this year, the governor's office said.
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