An economics professor looks at the impact of tax free weekends on the Massachusetts economy

NORTHAMPTON, Massachusetts (WGGB/WSHM) – This weekend is the long-awaited duty-free vacation in the Gulf States. Many people plan to save money on big ticket items. But what kind of economic effect does this have?

This weekend, many shoppers won’t have to pay sales tax on items under $2,500, like computers and sofas. But how are states affected?

“I’m picking out a sofa. I’ll pick everything up now. And I’ll pay tomorrow to take advantage of the tax-free weekend,” says customer Joan Coryat.

Kolyat and her husband took an overnight flight to Northampton to pick out the final sofa designs to buy this weekend. But they may be saving money. But they may not be sitting on that comfy couch anytime soon.

“The biggest problem is that we have to wait about 10 months for this sofa,” says Coryat.

Supply chain delays have become the norm since the pandemic began. Waiting this long for a delivery is nothing new, but are things getting better? We asked John Rogers, an economics professor at American International College, for his opinion.

“This year things are better than last year. In terms of availability. I think we’re going to do well this year,” said Rogers.

But not all are tax-free.

Certain items will continue to be subject to sales tax, including alcohol, vehicles, motorboats, cannabis, restaurant meals, and single items over $2,500.

We asked Rogers how much the state will lose this weekend.

“The state is going to lose about $20 million in the process. To put it into perspective, tax revenue is about $40 billion and what is that? One-half or one-tenth of 1%. said Rogers.

But for customers like Tina Stevens, the state could hit $20 million this weekend, so Yes Computers should look for a new iPad.

“I think I was thinking of getting a new product, and being here today is an extra motivation,” said customer Tina Stevens.

On Friday, many people pre-ordered iPads, laptops, and more. They pay tax free on Saturday or Sunday.

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