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Senate Jobs Bill Proposes Sales Tax Holiday in August

The bill was approved this week by the State Senate and will now go before the governor for final approval.

A new jobs bill designed to "stimulate economic growth and promote business in the Commonwealth" was passed this week in the Massachusetts State Senate and includes a proposed sales tax holiday for the weekend of Aug. 11-12.

On those days, the state's 6.25 percent sales tax would not be charged on purchases of up to $2,500.

"The holiday, which has become a summer staple in the Commonwealth over the last nine years, will allow consumers to save nearly $20 million," according to a statement released Friday by State Senator Richard Ross, who voted for the legislation.

Last year, several Needham businesses to promote the tax-free weekend.

“Individuals and families across the Commonwealth continue to struggle financially, and it is imperative that we as a legislature act to provide them with the economic opportunities they need,” Ross said in the release. “This legislation is a step in the right direction to promoting businesses, developing the workforce and stimulating the Massachusetts economy.”

The bill includes several measures aimed at improving the business climate in Massachusetts, with a particular focus on protecting small businesses.

"To facilitate access to assistance, a website will be developed providing information on public and private resources available to aid and support small businesses in the Commonwealth. In addition, a tax credit, equal to the minimum corporate excise tax, will be provided to Massachusetts corporations for their first three tax years," according to the news release.

The bill also includes funding to establish paid internships with technology startup companies, an entrepreneur mentoring program and skills training for jobs that require a high school degree, but less than a four-year degree.

"Matching grants will also be provided for university-sponsored research and development projects," the release states.

The jobs bill also offers loan options for energy conservation projects and provides funding for the Property Assessed Clean Energy Program.

The bill will now go before Governor Deval Patrick for his signature.

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