The tax holiday Aug. 10 and 11 suspends the sales tax on general school supplies, clothing worth $100 or less and computers and computer accessories.
This will be the first sales tax holiday for the state of Georgia since 2009.
Georgia first offered a two-day sales tax holiday timed for the back-to-school season in 2002. It eventually evolved into a four-day event.
State leaders ended that tradition during the recession as Georgia’s tax revenue plunged.
The sales tax holidays were reinstated this year by Gov. Nathan Deal and state lawmakers, including legislators who said Georgia businesses were losing back-to-school sales to stores in neighboring states that offer tax holidays.
From enhancing the Georgia economy to assisting residents with household expenses in uneasy financial times, the tax-free holiday is scheduled to make a big comeback in the state, leaders say.
According to Department of Revenue Commissioner Doug MacGinnitie, the sales tax holiday is “an excellent opportunity for parents to save money on basic necessities when getting their children ready for the coming school year.”
However, with many school districts around the state going back to school early, the question on the minds of many parents is why the tax free weekend is occurring after many school systems have commenced the school year. Classes start at Marietta City Schools on Thursday, the day before the holiday. Cobb Schools meanwhile, don’t resume until Aug. 13.
“I have two sons, ages 16 and 11, and I already bought most of their supplies,” said Canton mother Diane Browne.
Adriana Escobar, a mother from Woodstock described the late holiday as “frustrating.”
Like most parents in Cherokee County, Escobar explained she had already purchased “all school supplies because we can’t keep waiting.”
Department of Revenue Director of Communications Judd Seymour said all details for the sales tax holiday were included in House Bill 386, including when to schedule the weekend.
“It was set by the General Assembly. It was administered by the Department of Revenue,” Seymour said.
This year, Georgia is one of 17 states throughout the country that have installed a tax cut holiday. The details of Georgia’s tax exemption holiday include a wide array of items, while some will still be taxable.
School supplies to be exempt include supplies to be used in the classroom or related activities with a sales price of $20 or less. Items such as envelopes, briefcases, and other supplies used in a trade or business are excluded from tax exemption.
Clothing purchases, including shoes, with a sales price of $100 or less per item are exempt from sales tax during the holiday. Jewelry, handbags, umbrellas, eyewear, watches and watchbands, and all other accessories are not included in the exemption.
Single purchases of personal computers with a sales price of $1,000 or less and computer-related accessories will be exempt during the holiday weekend. Cellular devices, recreational computers, digital cameras, televisions and computers bags are some of the electronic items not available for the sales tax exemption.
For more information on tax exempt items, visit the Georgia Department of Revenue website at www.etax.dor.ga.gov.