Georgia retailers are getting ready for the sales tax holiday this weekend, as residents enjoy a tax break on computers, clothes and school supplies on Friday and Saturday. The sales tax holiday applies to both the 4 percent
state sales tax, and any local sales taxes – in most Georgia counties shoppers will save from 7 percent to 8 percent total in taxes.
The tax holiday begins on 12:01 a.m.. on August 1 and concludes at midnight on August 2. Many retailers say they will get an influx of shoppers looking for the tax break.
“Everyone loves a tax break. Georgia’s families enjoy the sales tax holiday and retailers usually enjoy a nice increase in store traffic,” said Taylor Byrd, executive director of the Georgia Retail Association. “The increase in business is good for our economy, because it means more work hours and higher payrolls. Consumer spending is about 70 percent of our economy, so when retail is doing well it means everyone is doing well.”
During the August sales tax holidays, the following items will be exempt:
• clothing and footwear with a sales price of $100 or less per item;
• computers, computer components and prewritten computer software purchased for noncommercial home or personal use with a sales price of $1,000 or less per item; and
• school supplies, school art supplies, school computer supplies and school instructional materials purchased for noncommercial use with a sales price of $20 or less per item.
The exemption does not apply to:
• belt buckles sold separately; costume masks sold separately; patches and emblems sold separately; sewing equipment and supplies, including but not limited to knitting needles, patterns, pins, scissors, sewing machines, sewing needles, tape measures and thimbles; sewing materials that become part of clothing, including but not limited to buttons, fabric, lace, thread, yarn and zippers; clothing accessories or equipment; or cellular telephones.
Combined spending for back to school and college is expected to reach about $2 billion statewide in Georgia, according to a GRA estimate.
According to the National Retail Federation’s 2014 Back-to-School Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the average family with children in grades K-12 will spend $669.28 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics, up 5 percent from $634.78 last year.
The 2014 sales tax holiday passed in Georgia House Bill 958, legislation extending both the statewide back-to-school tax-free holiday and ENERGY STAR and WaterSense appliance tax-free holiday weekends for an additional two years.
Since 1961, the Georgia Retail Association has been working on behalf of the retail community to unite and pursue the common goal of creating the best environment for retailing in Georgia. Retail supports 1 out of 4 jobs in the state and is directly and indirectly responsible for 18 percent of Georgia’s gross domestic product.