Local retailers saw increase in shoppers during tax-free weekend

Hampshire County

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Massachusetts retailers saw an increase in sales over the tax-free holiday weekend.

It was a busy weekend for local businesses, as customers searched for those hot deals while paying 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 took advantage of the exempt from the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax.

Competitive Edge Ski and Bike Shop’s owner, Kim Kennedy told 22News that the tax-free weekend had customers making bigger purchases.

“The sales tax up to $2,500 we had people that had been shopping bikes up to $2,000 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,” said Kennedy.

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 their business to another state where they don’t have sales tax year-round.

“Computers are a primary mode of business we sold lots of those, a lot of accessories,” said Service Technician Tony Russell-Smith. “People are able to drive a shorter distance 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. Connecticut’s sales tax-free week began on Sunday and runs through August 24.

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