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Parents question timing of tax holiday
Shoppers say weekends exemptions are a bit late
Elaina Ivester, with the JCPenney store in Lakeshore Mall, works on a display of children’s clothes. - photo by Tom Reed | The Times

Georgia Tax Free Weekend - Friday and Saturday

Items that are exempt from state and local sales and use taxes include:

- Clothing or footwear with a sales price of $100 or less per item
- Personal computers and computer-related accessories with a sales price of $1,000 or less
- General school supplies to be used in the classroom with a sales price of $20 or less per item

Items not exempt from sales tax include:

Clothing accessories, jewelry, handbags, umbrellas, eyewear, watches, cellular devices, furniture, recreational computer accessories, cosmetics, digital cameras, MP3 players, books (except for children’s books, dictionaries or thesauruses), CDs or DVDs, televisions, gaming systems and accessories, medical supplies and other items

Parents again will be able to take advantage of a back-to-school tax holiday this weekend.

Necessary school supplies will be exempt from state and local sales and use taxes for 48 hours on Friday and Saturday.

Back-to-school items that are exempt from sales tax include clothing under $100 per item, general school supplies and personal computers and accessories under $1,000.

This will be the first tax holiday for school items since the popular event was canceled at the start of the 2010 school year for economic reasons.

While shoppers seem to be glad for the break on the necessary items, most agree the timing is a little off. Hall County and Gainesville City schools start class on Friday as well. Some districts have already started.

Several people posted on The Times Facebook page about the tax holiday.

“It’s a bit late considering some districts started back in July! And working parents will have to brave the stores after work on Friday or cram everything in on Saturday,” Maureen D. Farry wrote.

Other posters said the benefit was “way too late” because many students already started school and the supplies were already purchased.

Lynn Ferguson Pacas wrote that she thinks people will still take advantage of the holiday even though classes have
already started.

“However, with that said they need to do it the first week of August as it seems we all go back to school the second week,” Pacas wrote.

The National Retail Federation estimates the average family will spend $688 on school supplies.

With the tax break, families can save around $50.  

Six in 10 shoppers plan to shop at a chain department store, according to the National Retail Federation — the most in the survey’s history.

With so many people planning to visit department stores, some are offering sale prices on clothing and items such as backpacks. Some shops are offering free services to lure more back-to-school customers.  

JCPenney hair salons are offering free haircuts for children in kindergarten through sixth grade for the rest of the month.