Florida and Georgia Tax-Free Holiday Approaching

CHICAGO - AUGUST 29: Back-to-school signs are displayed in a Target store August 29, 2006 in Chicago, Illinois. Public schools in Chicago are set to open September 5. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
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By: Lanetra Bennett
July 31, 2014

Tallahassee, FL - Florida retailers expect stores to see a 30 percent increase in traffic over the weekend because of the Sales Tax Holiday.

The 'Tax-Free Holiday' begins Friday, August 1st. It ends on Saturday night in Georgia, but, runs through Sunday in Florida.

This year, the rules are a little more generous than in past years.

Jonathan Anderson is scoped out which laptop he wanted on Thursday. He says, "Tax holiday is really the only time that I can afford to get one." That's why the FSU student is waiting until the Tax-free holiday weekend to buy one.

The first $750 of the purchase price of a computer is now tax exempt. In the past, only electronics with a total price of $750 or less qualified.

Let's say you want a computer or laptop that costs $1,000; $750 would be tax-free. Now, the remaining $250, you would have to pay the sales tax on.

Casey Penn, a sales manager at Best Buy in Tallahassee, says, "It would also include routers, modems, Ethernet cables, mice, keyboards. Printers are included in it as well. Pretty much any hardware for computers and tablets, as well as their accessories."

Anderson says, "I think it's awesome. It's something for students to finally be able to save a little bit of money. It's always hard in a college town to save money. So, when you can save $50 on a laptop, it really helps you out."

The limit for clothes and accessories has been raised from $75 to $100. That includes all apparel, footwear, wallets, handbags, and backpacks.

School supplies are tax-free up to $15 per item. That includes pens, pencils, crayons, notebooks, legal pads, markers, folders, scissors, cellophane tape, glue, and calculators.

Examples of computer items that are *taxable* include: cell phones, computer paper, and tablet cases or covers, and video games and consoles.

Penn says, "It's kind of the same mentality as Black Friday here. But, we're prepared for it."

Penn says Best Buy will have staff members on-hand to help customers efficiently. They also have the list of tax-free items posted as you walk in the store.

To prepare ahead of time, you can find a more detailed list of tax exempt and taxable items by visiting www.myflorida.com/dor.

News Release: Associated Press
July 30, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) -- The Georgia Retail Association is reminding residents that the state's tax holiday is quickly approaching.

Officials say state and local sales taxes in most Georgia counties will be waived between Aug. 1 and 2. Officials say the tax exemption applies to computers, software and more worth less than $1,000, clothes and shoes worth less than $100 per item, and school supplies worth less than $20 per item.

Georgia Retail Association Executive Director Taylor Byrd says the tax holiday is good for retailers and Georgia families. Byrd says increased business during the tax holiday period is "good for our economy, because it means more work hours and higher payrolls."

GRA officials are expecting a back to school and college savings of about $2 billion statewide.

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