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Shoppers Get A Two-Day Break From Sales Tax In Massachusetts

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Back-to-school shopping which retail analysts say is off to a slow start is expected to get a boost in Massachusetts this weekend because the state has authorized two days of sales-tax free shopping. 

   Jon Hurst, the president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts expects a total of $500 million in sales to occur this weekend. He said the sales-tax free shopping during the second weekend in August has become the traditional start of the back-to–school shopping season in the state.

   The so-called tax holiday authorized by the state legislature and signed by Governor Patrick waves collection of the 6.25 percent sales tax on any item costing less than $2,500.  There are some exceptions including cars and boats.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.