Tax-Free Gimmick Weekend Is Near

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Opinion editorial by WBZ NewsRadio political analyst Jon Keller

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Are you all geared up and ready to hit the mall for this weekend’s annual sales-tax holiday?

On Saturday and Sunday, most retail items under $2,500 will be available without the 6.25% sales tax.

For those who are, like myself, bad at math, it means you save $6.25 on a $100 item.

It’s not a lot unless you buy a lot, but hey, it’s money that stays in your wallet, and there’s nothing wrong with that. And if the publicity surrounding this now-annual event helps businesses boost sales, that’s a good thing for the economy.

But let’s be honest about the sales-tax holiday—it’s mainly a gimmick to make politicians look good.

A non-partisan think tank studied the 16 states that had sales-tax holidays at the time and found “they simply shift the timing of purchases. Some retailers raise prices during the holiday, reducing consumer savings…. [they] involve politicians picking products and industries to favor with exemptions, arbitrarily discriminating between products and distorting consumer decisions…. [and they] distract policymakers and taxpayers from genuine, permanent tax relief.”

Other than that, they’re swell!

One curious thing about our supposedly pro-business sales tax holiday—you don’t get the savings if you’re buying stuff for your business.

Hello, Beacon Hill? Were you visiting the dispensary that day?

Anyway, if you like the sales-tax holiday, then enjoy yourself.

It may be the only time the words “tax” and “enjoyment” can be used in the same sentence.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio weekday mornings at :55 minutes past the hour. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio.

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Keller @ Large

Keller @ Large

Jon Keller is a WBZ TV & Radio political analyst. Read more


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