BOSTON — A law approved by the Legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker waives the state's 6.25 percent sales tax Saturday and Sunday on most things sold in retail stores.

Items excluded from the sales tax holiday include tobacco products, restaurant meals, motor vehicles and anything that costs more than $2,500.

The tax-free weekend is welcomed by many merchants around the state who see it as providing a boost during an otherwise slow summer sales period.

Critics say it costs the state badly-needed tax revenue.

The National Federation of Independent Small Businesses is urging shoppers to take advantage of the sales tax holiday by making their purchases at smaller, Main Street stores.

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