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June 12, 2014

Massachusetts House backs summer sales tax holiday

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts House has given its support to holding another summer sales tax holiday.

An amendment added yesterday to an economic development bill calls for suspending the state's 6.25 percent sales tax during the weekend of Aug. 16-17. The exemption would not apply to tobacco products or items that cost more than $2,500.

The measure was sponsored by Rep. Brad Jones, R-North Andover, and still needs approval from the state Senate and Gov. Deval Patrick.

Tax-free holidays have been held several times in recent years. Retailers welcome them as an opportunity to lure shoppers into stores to jumpstart a typically slow time of year.

State officials have expressed concern, however, about the loss of an estimated $20 million in sales tax revenue during the weekend.

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