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Georgians get another sales tax holiday

Georgia Sales Tax Holiday

Exempt Items:

Athletic clothing

Baby clothes

Undergarments

Outerwear

Sleepwear

Uniforms

Computers

Computer batteries and cables

Data storage devices

Printers and cartridges

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

ATLANTA — You might want to hold off on doing as much back to school shopping as you can until after school begins.

Students in Newton and Rockdale counties start the new school year at the beginning of August, and Georgia recently announced that a state sales tax holiday will be held Aug. 9 and 10, several days after school starts.

During the holiday, shoppers don’t have to pay tax on some clothes, school supplies and electronic items.

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, furniture and books except for children’s and reference books.

According to the National Retail Federations’s 2013 Back-to-School Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, families with school-age children will spend an average of $634.78 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics, down from $688.62 last year.

“The good news is that consumers are spending, but they are doing so with cost and practicality in mind,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “As they continue to grapple with the impact of increased payroll taxes, Americans will look to cut corners where they can, but will buy what their kids need. It’s important to note, however, that spending levels are still well above where they were a few years ago.”

The biggest portion of back-to-school shoppers’ budgets will go toward new apparel and accessories. Fewer families with children in kindergarten through 12th grades will purchase electronics, according to NRF.

The NRF survey this year found eight in 10 school shoppers say economic conditions will change their spending in some way. Turning to the Internet to save money, nearly 37 percent say they will do more comparative shopping online and nearly 19 percent will shop online more often.

Consumer website Living on the Cheap suggests some ways to save money on back to school shopping: reuse and repurpose supplies, set a budget and make a list, clip coupons, find consignment sales and thrift shops, buy in bulk and wait a few weeks to shop for deals.