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Sales tax holiday is set for Saturday, Sunday ahead of school year
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Danene Metzdorf, a teacher at the First Baptist Church Day School, looks at items for her 2-year-olds class Tuesday at the School Tools & Office Pro's store in Gainesville. Stores and shoppers alike are preparing for tax-free weekend and back-to-school purchases. - photo by Erin O. Smith

Stores and shoppers are preparing for a sales-tax-free weekend and back-to-school purchases.

Georgia’s “sales tax holiday” will be Saturday and Sunday. Customers will not pay sales tax on exempt purchases of clothing, computers and school supplies.

Stores will have extended hours for the two days, and many will offer discounts.

Tax-free categories include clothing that is $100 or less per item; computers, components and software for noncommercial or personal use that costs $1,000 or less per item; and school supplies for noncommercial use that are $20 or less per item.

Exempt examples of clothing are skirts, footwear, socks, sleepwear, suits, shorts and skorts, pants and hats and caps.

For computers, tablets, laptops, desktop units, data storage drives, keyboards, batteries for computers, printers, routers and scanners are exempt.

Exempt school supplies include crayons, pens, pencils, computer paper, composition books, legal pads, calculators, rulers and index cards.

The School Tools & Office Pro’s store, located at 2121 Browns Bridge Road in Gainesville, will extend its hours, said Marsha Jones, one of the company’s owners.

The business will be open until 6 p.m. Saturday — normally it closes at 2 p.m. — and will be open Sunday from 1-6 p.m. — a day it usually is closed.

Jones said the store has all of the schools’ supply lists. Store employees will “pick and pack” for customers, she said. “We’ll actually pull it for them.”

She added a “crew of Hispanic workers” also will be on duty to help Spanish-speaking residents with school supplies.

“Most of the stores (in Lakeshore Mall) are running back to school specials,” said Joanne Luchkowec, administrative assistant for the mall.

The mall will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Belk will have a Kidsfest event from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, she said. It will include a fashion show, games and refreshments.

Fashion models will get a 20 percent discount. Interested youngsters can sign up in stores.

The North Georgia Premium Outlets mall in Dawsonville also will have extended hours. The outlet mall will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

On Saturday, DJ Crazy Mike will be at the mall from noon to 2 p.m. in the gazebo.

The mall will offer a free Simon drawstring backpack to shoppers that spend a minimum of $150 in any one store — while supplies last. The special will be for purchases from Friday to Sunday and is limited to one backpack per person per day.

The photo booth will be free from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. It is adjacent to Kenneth Cole in the gazebo.

Regional events