Massachusetts residents who are hoping to score some tax-free goodies in August are in luck, but not everyone in New England will get a break on their purchases during the 2015 tax-free holiday weekends that are popping up across the nation.
New Hampshire is the only New England state that is tax-free year ’round, so when the tax holiday rolls around every summer, people who live in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Maine hope that lawmakers in their state will approve the money-saving weekend break.
This year, only two New England states have approved measures to go tax-free — Connecticut and Massachusetts. Tax Jar reports that there will be no tax-free days in Rhode Island, Vermont, and Maine this year. Fortunately, most Rhode Islanders can take a quick drive to Massachusetts or Connecticut if they want to save money on certain items, but it may not be worth the drive for residents of Maine and Vermont.
According to the Lowell Sun, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker recently put his signature on the bill last week after it passed the House (136-20) and the Senate (27-11). The tax rate in Massachusetts is currently 6.26 percent — consumers will not pay tax on August 15 and 16, but there is a $2,500 limit.
While the Sun states that the bill was signed last week, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue has yet to post the holiday rules on their website. If the holiday works the same as it did in 2014, the following items will not be part of the exemption: restaurant meals, motor vehicles, motorboats, telecommunications services, gas, steam, electricity, tobacco products, and “any single item whose price is in excess of $2,500.”
Connecticut will have a tax-free week from August 16 through 22. According to the state’s revenue department, consumers will be able to save 6.35 percent tax on clothing and footwear priced less than $100, down from last year’s $300 per item. Although the specifics are not detailed, in previous years the state’s exemption did not apply to athletic clothing or footwear, handbags, jewelry, wallets, watches, and other accessories.
Before you head out to take advantage of tax-free bargains in August, it’s best to check to make sure the holiday is truly “a go” with your state and there have been no changes to the bill. Check for updated information on the Massachusetts DOR website, and in Connecticut find contact information for the state’s Department of Revenue here.
[Image: The Patch]