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Behind The Mic With Joe Mathieu: Sales Tax Holiday A False Promise

By Joe Mathieu, WBZ NewsRadio 1030
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Joe Mathieu has returned to his professional home town and assumed the...
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BOSTON (CBS) — It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t like the idea of a sales tax holiday.

That’s why they have them in more than a dozen states across the country. And why it’s coming back to Massachusetts this summer.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo tells WBZ NewsRadio that lawmakers will vote next week to suspend the 6.25 percent tax the second weekend of August.

Not that people are waiting around to find out.

Retailers have been running ads to capitalize on this for weeks.

This is what it’s come to. We all expect it to happen. And that’s the problem.

Surely there’s no problem with saving money. And we’re talking about $20 million in combined savings.

But the idea here is that it will boost consumer spending. And studies have shown that tax holidays don’t do that at all. Instead, they simply cause people to delay their spending. They shop around, find what they want, then actually make the purchase on the holiday.

This may sound familiar to you.

Now I know what you’re thinking. What about people who don’t have a lot of money? Supporters say this will help low- and middle-income families buy things they couldn’t normally afford.

That would be great. But researchers at groups such as the Tax Foundation have found that low-income families do not usually have the free cash to spend on tax holidays such as these. And that’s why wealthy families benefit the most.

Hey, I like saving money as much as anyone. And I might just do some shopping on the sales tax holiday. But let’s not kid ourselves into thinking this is something that it’s not.

Follow Joe on Twitter @joemathieuwbz

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