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Sales tax holiday mixed bag for consumers

Student Mary Elizabeth Wright, left, shops for school supplies with her mother, Maudie Wright, at Staples on Slappey Boulevard. Thursday afternoon. The state of Georgia has slated today and Saturday as sales tax holidays on certain purchases.

Student Mary Elizabeth Wright, left, shops for school supplies with her mother, Maudie Wright, at Staples on Slappey Boulevard. Thursday afternoon. The state of Georgia has slated today and Saturday as sales tax holidays on certain purchases.

ALBANY, Ga. — For the first time since 2009, the state of Georgia has decreed a sales tax holiday, which means shoppers in the Peach State can make certain purchases and pay nothing in sales tax today and Saturday.

Sales tax exemptions

During the sales tax holiday today and Saturday, the following items will be exempt from sales tax:

Clothing

Clothing (including footwear) with a sales price of $100 or less per item. Excluded are clothing accessories such as jewelry, handbags, umbrellas, eyewear, watches and watchbands

School Supplies

School supplies to be used in the classroom or in classroom-related activities with a sales price of $20 or less per item.

Computers

Single purchases with a sales price of $1,000 or less, or personal computers and personal computer-related accessories. The exemption excludes cellular devices, furniture, and computer-related accessories designed for recreational use.

Sales tax exemptions do not apply to: Items used in a trade or business or for resale, or rentals; or sales in theme parks, entertainment complexes, public lodging establishments, restaurants or airports.

For additional information about the sales tax holiday, including specific examples of included or excluded items, go to https://etax.dor....>

According to the Sales Tax Institute, Georgia is one of 18 states allowing tax holidays in 2012, but for some local shoppers and retailers it may be little or too late to affect families making back to school purchases.

“This is starting after school has already started,” said Joseph Iles, store leader at J.C. Penney in Albany Mall. “Terrell County started two weeks ago, Dougherty was Monday and Lee starts tomorrow (Friday). If I’m a parent I’ve already had to come out and make my purchases.”

Iles said he was at a loss to make sales predictions for the two-day event, as he’d never experienced anything like it.

“When it was held before, it was for four days — Thursday through Sunday before school starting on Monday — and it was in late July. It was huge,” he said

It was June before Iles was told the statewide event would actually take place. He was not expecting it this year. According to Iles, most retailers have already experienced the greater part of their back to school rush, although he’s certain there will be an increase in customers looking to save money during the tax holiday.

According to a recent survey by RetailMeNot, an online distributor of printable ,coupons and coupon codes, parents spend an average of $100 to $400 per child on back to school items, with half of more of that amount going for clothing rather than computers, books or general supplies.

April Morris “browsing” at the mall Thursday but will venture out this weekend for the tax savings, she said. The lateness of the holiday didn’t faze her since her kids don’t start at Lee County Schools until today.

“It’s only one day,” she said. “We already have their school supplies so we’re buying mostly clothing.”

Shawn McTyeire whose children also attend Lee County schools, doesn’t like the idea of shopping with a lot of people.

“I’m not going to be worried about it,” McTyeire said. “I’d rather pay a couple of dollars more and avoid the crowd. I don’t like waiting in line.”

Comments

Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 8 months ago

We are furloughing state employees, facing huge deficits, still trying to recover from a depression, and the solution is to do another sales tax holiday? I know this will give a small amount of relief to consumers, but it just puts us even deeper in the hole. The budget is something we should strive to balance.

How much does this affect the average consumer, a few hundred dollars at the max? How much does this affect our State budget?

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