MARIETTA — After a three-year hiatus, Georgia shoppers will enjoy a sales tax holiday beginning Friday.
The state-sponsored sales tax holiday runs from 12:01 a.m. Friday to midnight Saturday. Georgia shoppers will have a chance to buy back-to-school items, including school supplies, clothing, computers and computer accessories, without paying state and local sales taxes.
The timing of the tax holiday has been questioned, as many metro Atlanta school districts have already began classes. Marietta City Schools students start classes today, while students in the Cobb County School District return Monday.
Nevertheless, parents are expected to spend an average of $688 on clothes, electronics and school supplies for their children this year, up from $603 last year, according to the Washington, D.C.-based National Retail Federation. Total spending is expected to reach $30.3 billion.
Aaron Dye, a Wal-Mart manager, declined to speculate on crowd sizes but said his store on Chastain Meadows Parkway near Kennesaw is prepared with a special 88-cents back-to-school section and Kennesaw State University paraphernalia.
“The last tax-free holiday was back in 2009, so we really don’t know what to expect,” he said.
Among the most popular back-to-school items at the store have been graphic T-shirts and “The Hunger Games” merchandise, including notebooks, pens and pencils, and carrying cases, Dye said.
Target spokeswoman Meghan Mike said her company — which has seven stores in Cobb — is looking forward to a busy two days in Georgia.
“This is going to be a popular weekend for shopping,” she said. “The store is excited to be participating in the tax-free weekend.”
In addition to the state’s 4 percent sales tax, Cobb County’s 2 percent sales tax will also be waived, said Jud Seymour of the Georgia Department of Revenue.
During the sales tax holiday, the following items will be exempt from taxes:
* Clothing and footwear with a sales price of $100 or less per item;
* A single purchase, with a sales price of $1,000 or less, of personal computers and personal computer-related accessories; and
* General school supplies to be used in the classroom or in classroom-related activities with a sales price of $20 or less per item.
The exemption does not apply to:
* Clothing accessories, jewelry, handbags, umbrellas, eyewear, watches, watchbands, cellular devices, furniture, computer-related accessories designed for recreational use, 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.
A study released earlier this year by the Georgia Retail Association forecasts that the tax holiday will generate an additional $476 million in economic activity.
A second tax holiday for certain energy-efficient and water-efficient products with a sales price of $1,500 or less is scheduled for Oct. 5 through 7.
For a detailed list of items exempt from the sales tax holiday, visit bit.ly/P0fX3X.