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Georgians offered sales tax holiday again

COVINGTON -- Some Georgians are rejoicing for a little savings with a state Sales Tax Holiday coming up this weekend, but for some it's a little too late.

Schools in Newton and Rockdale counties started back last week, making it too late for some to benefit from the savings holiday, which hasn't been held in the last two years. During the holiday, shoppers don't have to pay tax on some clothes, school supplies and certain electronic items.

Covington resident Vickie Nolley said she was finished school shopping on Thursday.

"I like to get the stuff and get it over with," she said about shopping for her 16-year-old son who attends Eastside High School. "I just try to shop around at different stores for the best prices."

Fellow resident Nikita Hawk said she sent her two children, a fifth-grader at Flint Hill Elementary School and a ninth-grader at Eastside High School, back to school with a few essential items in their backpacks. She plans to do a majority of her school shopping during the tax free weekend.

"It will just be a week (later)," she said.

However, she admits that it doesn't make too much of a difference in savings.

"They need it, whether they have the tax free weekend or not," she said, adding that she doesn't really keep up with how much she spends on the supplies.

She said any savings helps her stockpile on some items, which she buys throughout the year.

"I still have nine packs of paper from last year," she said.

The Georgia Sales Tax Holiday is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Aug. 10 and 11.

Tax exempt items include clothing and footwear with a sales price of $100 or less per item; single purchases of personal computers and related accessories with a sales price of $1,000 or less; and general school supplies with a sales price of $20 or less per item.

The exemption excludes accessories like jewelry and handbags, cellular devices and televisions and books except for children's and reference books.

The average person with children in kindergarten through 12th grades is expected to spend nearly $700 on their students this year, according to the National Retail Federation. The figure is up from more than $600 last year.

NRF found that parents will spend the most on clothing, accessories and electronics this summer. Parents estimate they will spend an average of nearly $250 on clothes and more than $200 on electronics. Additionally, the average person with children in grades K-12 will spend about $130 on shoes and about $95 on school supplies such as notebooks, pencils and backpacks.

"When it comes to their children, there's nothing more important to a parent than making sure their children have everything they need, even in a tough economy -- and especially when it comes to back-to-school shopping," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "Backpacks rip, pencils break, and children grow, there's no way around it, but as they begin tackling their shopping lists, parents will make sure to spend smarter than they ever have before."

Georgia Sales Tax Holiday

Exempt Items:

Athletic clothing

Baby clothes

Undergarments

Outerwear

Sleepwear

Uniforms

Computers

Computer batteries and cables

Dara storage devices

Memory

Printer cartridges

Printers

Calculators

Dictionaries

Lunch boxes

Paper

Organizers

Tape

Taxable Items:

Cosmetics

Jewelry

Handbags

Regular batteries

Computer bags

Digital cameras

MP3 players

Televisions

Books except children’s and references

Envelopes

Medical supplies

Source: Georgia Department of Revenue