States Try Tax Holidays To Jump-Start Economic Activity

No taxes are good taxes


Massachusetts is the 18th state to join the back-to-school tax holiday parade this year. The legislature has authorized a tax-free weekend to begin Aug. 10.

Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, is expected to sign the bill by the end of this week.

Some 17 other states have the tax holidays for 2013. Many begin this Saturday, mostly on sales of clothing, books and school supplies like notebooks and pens. Several states have expanded the idea to include separate pre-hurricane-season sales tax holidays for building and safety supplies, as well as a handful of "Energy Star" holidays for energy-efficient appliances. These holidays usually take place on different dates than the pre-school shopping sprees.