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Legislators Approve Sales Tax Holiday for Aug. 10-11

In past years the sales tax holiday has saved shoppers across the state more than $20 million. This year, the sales tax holiday is on Aug. 10-11.

The Northshore Mall is offering extended shopping hours this weekend in celebration of the annual tax-free holiday.
The Northshore Mall is offering extended shopping hours this weekend in celebration of the annual tax-free holiday.
This story was originally reported by Jake O'Donnell.

Two days after the Massachusetts Legislature acted on a proposal to enact a sales tax holiday in the Commonwealth for Aug. 10 and 11, Gov. Deval Patrick signed the bill into law.

According to Patrick's official Twitter account, he signed the sales tax holiday for 2013 on Friday, Aug. 2 after the bill was passed on Wednesday. The bill marks the eighth consecutive year shoppers can patronize Massachusetts businesses for two days without having to pay the 6.25 percent sales tax.

According to a document on the Department of Revenue's website, last year residents saved more than $23 million during the tax-free weekend.

With less than two weeks to go before the proposed date not all retailers were sure it was going to get approved. Some businesses took the idea into their own hands and created special discounted sales.

In celebration of the tax-free holiday, shopping centers, such as the Northshore Mall, are extending their weekend hours -- the Peabody mall will be open 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Sunday.

Some items are not within the bounds of the tax exemption, including any single item sold for more than $2,500. Also products such as tobacco, gasoline, meals and utilities will not be sold tax-free.

State Sen. Joan Lovely, whose district includes Peabody, says the bill is designed to increase sales for local businesses and provide relief to consumers at a time when many families are preparing for a new school year.

“I’m hoping that this tax holiday will give a late summer boost to our local businesses,” said Lovely in a statement following the Senate's approval of the bill. “It’s always helpful to lift the sales tax and give consumers a good opportunity to make some significant purchases and save money.”

The announcement from Lovely's office also included remarks from Salem state Rep. John Keenan and Danvers Rep. Ted Speliotis, who also represents West Peabody.

“I know this break in the sales tax spurs many businesses to offer additional discounts that make it even more attractive for consumers,” said Speliotis.

The original text of this year's tax holiday bill can be found on the state legislature's website.

So tell us, where are you shopping this weekend?

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