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Massachusetts sets tax holiday

By Kay Bell ·
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Posted: 12 pm ET

Take a deep breath, Massachusetts shoppers. Your state's lawmakers finally decided to give you a sales tax holiday.

The Bay State's first tax holiday was a one-day affair in 2004. In the eight subsequent years, Massachusetts has held seven tax-free shopping events (the tax holiday was canceled in 2009 out of economic concerns). And in those seven years, the final approval came just days before the holiday began.

So Massachusetts shoppers have come to expect the wait for their tax holiday's final OK. The one good thing is that for the last few years, the tax holiday's terms have been the same.

The Massachusetts tax holiday lasts for two days. This year, those days are Saturday, Aug. 11, and Sunday, Aug. 12.

And what items are exempt from Massachusetts' 6.25 percent sales? Just about everything that is purchased for personal use and costs $2,500 or less.

Hold on just a minute. You did see the phrase "just about everything" in the preceding paragraph, right? Yep,  that means there are some things that aren't tax-free in Massachusetts this weekend, notably motorized vehicles (including boats), restaurant meals, most utility services (including steam; who knew that was still a big deal in Massachusetts?) and tobacco products.

But I'm sure Massachusetts shoppers can find plenty of other items priced at $2,500 or less to buy tax-free.

Georgia, Maryland tax-free days also on tap

This weekend also offers tax-free bargains for Georgia and Maryland shoppers.

The Peach State holiday is Friday, Aug. 10, and Saturday, Aug. 11.

And while the Old Line State tax holiday doesn't kick off until Sunday, Aug. 12, it runs through Saturday, Aug. 18.

You can find details on the Georgia and Maryland tax holidays in the Bankrate story on this year's back-to-school tax holidays.

Connecticut and Texas shoppers should check out the story, too. Your tax holidays are coming up later this August.

Do you put off shopping until your state's sales tax holiday arrives?  If so, how much have you saved by not paying sales tax on some of your purchases?

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