Massachusetts lawmakers eye Aug. 16-17 for sales tax free weekend designed to aid retailers

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BOSTON — Massachusetts shoppers hoping to shave a little off their shopping spree should plan to hit the stores on Aug. 16-17.

That's the weekend lawmakers have picked to suspend the state's sales tax for many purchases.

The date is included in an economic development bill expected to come up for a final vote on Thursday, the last day of the Legislature's formal session.

The House and Senate had initially picked different weekends in August, but finally settled on one.

Tax-free holidays have been held several times in recent years. Retailers welcome them as an opportunity to lure shoppers into stores to jump-start a typically slow time of year.

State officials have expressed concern, however, about the loss of an estimated $20 million in sales tax revenue during the weekend.

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