Katie Kinne

Shoppers Won’t Be Feeling Taxed This Weekend

Katie Kinne
Shoppers Won’t Be Feeling Taxed This Weekend

Nicole Stanley’s shopping trip to the Route 1 Walmart Friday was only the warm up act for her plan to return this weekend to buy school supplies — tax free.

The Lynn resident estimated she will save $15 or more on her sales tax-free weekend purchases and she said every penny counts when it comes to planning her shopping budget.

It’s always a constant reminder — that extra six-cent tax,” Stanley said.

The state sales tax is actually 6.25 percent of every purchase and, under an order signed by Gov. Charlie Baker on Aug. 6, purchases made today and Sunday are not subject to the sales tax.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito stopped by the big Saugus Walmart Friday to accept the thanks of retail chain executives and talk to shoppers.

“The sales tax weekend will help with extra savings beyond what we offer,” said Walmart spokesman Bill Wertz.

The state has had a sales tax holiday in all but one year since 2004 and state Rep. RoseLee Vincent of Revere on Friday said the holidays “stimulate our economy.”

Critics say tax holidays largely help “big box” national retailers and don’t do much for the state’s economy.

The sales tax remains in effect for cigarettes and big-ticket purchases, such as cars and motorboats, and anything costing more than $2,500. Food and most clothing are already exempt from the sales tax.

Polito has a small business family background in construction and real estate, and she said the tax holiday is important as an advertising hook for businesses and a boost in their recovery from winter 2015.

“It’s a chance to get large-ticket items people may have been putting off and to help our economy,” she said.

Wertz said the tax holiday is good news for Walmart: Back to school shopping ranks only behind holiday shopping in terms of business volume for the chain. He could not estimate how much the tax-free weekend will boost shopping volume in the Route 1 store, but said the store — opened last October — has drawn in customers.

Peabody native Mark Crean shopped for DVDs at Walmart on Friday and contemplated a bigger purchase, perhaps a television, today or on Sunday.

“I might get something for football,” he said.

Polito said she planned to shop this weekend for school supplies for her children, ages 10 and 12, and “buy my husband a nice flashlight.”