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Consumers Gear Up For Sales Tax Holiday

By Beth Germano, WBZ-TV
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Emmy award-winning Beth Germano is a general assignment reporter fo...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Consumers are gearing up for Massachusetts sales tax holiday weekend August 13 and 14, two days when the 6.25% tax on items $2500 or less will be waived. It made Friday night at many area malls a preview night, as shoppers did their research preparing to return in the morning.

“I think I would have shopped more, spent more time trying to get a good deal, instead of jumping right in,” said Arnold Ng, looking at washers and dryers at the CambridgeSide Galleria.

“I wanted to see what’s available here, get a good deal.” For some the “deal” is pretty good if it’s a big ticket item like a Macbook computer. “It’s been something I’ve been thinking about,” said Kim Snell browsing in the Apple Store.

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports

“This weekend is the perfect excuse to go ahead and get it,” she said.

It’s a retailer’s mid-summer night’s dream in the midst of economic jitters that’s had many on the fence about purchases, but has Ann Kelly thinking about a new microwave. “That’s what got me to come look at them,” she said. The push has been on, offering markdown prices beyond sales tax savings.

Consumer advocate Edgar Dworsky believes that’s the only way that really makes the tax holiday worth it. “If you’re paying full price for an item and only saving six and a quarter on tax then thanks for nothing,” he said.

“Look for good sale items and be a comparison shopper.” Still, not everyone is sold on the incentive. Marvin Wright paid $89-dollars Friday night for a new television monitor with no intention of waiting for the weekend.

“The difference in cost is not significant, a savings of maybe five or six bucks,” he said. But whether it’s a few dollars or one hundred dollars the hope is the words “sales tax savings” will be enough to put people in the mindset to shop.

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