Once again, Massachusetts has made a late entry into the annual back-to-school sales tax holiday parade.
For the third straight year, Bay State legislators waited until the last minute to OK a tax holiday for their shoppers. In fact, they were so slow that Massachusetts didn't make the cut to be part of Bankrate's really cool tax-holiday map showing the other 17 states that also have these special summer tax events this year.
But as shoppers everywhere know, a late tax break is better than no tax break. And in Massachusetts, that means shoppers on Aug. 10 and 11 won't owe the state's 6.25 percent sales tax on just about any item as long as it doesn't cost more than $2,500.
You noticed that caveat "just about any item," right? There are some things upon which Massachusetts will still collect taxes, notably motor vehicles and boats. So that used car you plan to buy your daughter so she can drive herself to and from college still will be taxable.
But for almost every other item under the spending limit that an individual, not a business, buys, taxes are waived in Massachusetts for the weekend. The state's Department of Revenue has the full tax-free details in a release posted on its website.
Georgia, Texas and Maryland holidays
Georgia's tax-free weekend actually starts Friday, Aug. 9, and wraps up at midnight Saturday, Aug. 10. Peach State shoppers can save tax money on clothing and footwear priced at $100 or less; school supplies selling for $20 or less, and computers and computer accessories priced at $1,000 or less during those two days.
Texas shoppers get sales tax-free offerings from Friday, Aug. 9 through Sunday, Aug. 11. In the Lone Star State, the tax waivers apply to clothing and footwear priced at less than $100; backpacks priced at less than $100, and school supplies priced at less than $100.
Maryland's tax-free shopping period lasts a week that begins on Sunday, Aug. 11, and runs through Saturday, Aug. 17. Old Line State shoppers won't pay state or local sales taxes on clothing and footwear priced at less than $100.
So shoppers in these four states, make your lists and enjoy the crowds at the mall during your tax-free holidays.
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Veteran contributing editor Kay Bell is the author of the book "The Truth About Paying Fewer Taxes" and a co-author of the e-book "Future Millionaires' Guidebook."