There Will Be No Sales Tax Holiday in Massachusetts in 2016

Massachusetts won't enjoy tax-free spending this August for the first time since 2009.

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For the first time in seven years, Massachusetts shoppers won’t be able to enjoy a sales tax holiday this August.

On Monday, lawmakers said the state’s (almost) annual tax-free weekend would be too much of a blow to the already suffering budget.

“Talking about the shortfall that we’re in, we considered, to add another $26 million to that shortfall just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense,” said House Speaker Robert DeLeo.

During a regular tax-free weekend, shoppers receive a 6.25 percent tax break on purchases less than $2,500. The sales tax holiday began in Massachusetts in 2004 and was not held in 2009 due to a recession.

While it proves to be a big boost for retailers, the Boston Globe reports that the tax-free weekend cost the state $25 million in tax revenue last year, up from almost $15 million in 2008. notes DeLeo said the holiday was never permanent on purpose so the state could be financially flexible.

“It’s always been my position that it depends strongly on the economic situation at the time, and obviously the economic situation this time calls that we don’t have it,” said DeLeo.