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Tax-free holiday scheduled for this weekend

POSTED: July 29, 2014 1:00 a.m.

Carolyn Sullens and grandson Landon, 7, walk through Office-Max on Monday in search of back-to-school items. The tax-free weekend is this Friday and Saturday, when back-to-school items will be sold without sales tax added.

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Georgia’s tax-free weekend is Friday and Saturday, and retailers and families alike are gearing up for the rush to get back-to-school supplies.

Gainesville retailers such as Target, Wal-Mart and OfficeMax have already started sales on specific items for students of all ages.

“Our stores are fully stocked for the entire back-to-school shopping season; so we are ready for the tax-free shopping weekend,” OfficeMax spokeswoman Julianne Embry said.

More than 1,000 items will be available for $5 or less in store, Embry said. For some parents, the sale shopping starts before the busy tax-free weekend.

“I’ve worked in retail before,” said Jennifer Hoyt, mother of two boys. “So I know how busy it can get.”

She said she chose to shop during the week to avoid the weekend crowds.

“I almost have it all completed,” she said. “I piecemeal it together throughout the four or five weeks when they run the sales, and instead of buying it all at one time, I try to get specific things when they’re on sale.”

For other early shoppers, the fear of sold-out supplies sends them shopping during the week, dismissing weekend savings.

Carolyn Sullens and her grandchildren, Landon, 7, Brennan, 12, and Nathan, 14, didn’t want to miss anything, she said.

“We should’ve waited until the weekend, but (Brennan) was afraid the selection wouldn’t have been as good,” Sullens said.

The family already stocked up on clothes and shoes the week before, she said. Clothing is included in the upcoming tax-free holiday as well as computers and software less than $1,000 and school art supplies, school computer supplies and school instructional materials less than $20.

To help families with their shopping, schools distribute lists of recommended supplies. East Hall Middle School Principal Vickie Tribble said its list is available online, in office and taped to school doors for after-hours access.

“It’s just the basics. We do not have a ton of unique items we suggest,” she said.

East Hall Middle’s list includes dry-erase markers, binders, folders and pens.

“Each year is a new beginning,” Tribble said. “We are excited for it.”


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