ATLANTA – Georgia retailers are staffing up for crowds this weekend as the state holds its first sales tax holiday since 2009. On Friday and Saturday, shoppers don’t have to pay sales tax on back-to-school items including clothing and shoes priced at $100 or less, computers and accessories $1,000 or less, and school supplies less than $20 per item.
“With the sales tax exemption in Georgia, about one-third of everything sold at retail during the holiday will be tax-free,” said Rick McAllister, president of the Georgia Retail Association. “For retailers who are selling tax-exempt items, there will be a significant increase in store traffic this weekend. That means higher sales, and it also means more labor income as stores bring in additional help for the crowds.”
According to a study by the Washington Economics Group, and commissioned by the Georgia Retail Association, the tax holiday has the potential to increase economic activity by at least $475.8 million in Georgia. This increase would be on normally taxable merchandise, some of which would remain taxable and some of which would be exempt from tax during the tax holiday. As a result, instead of costing the government tax revenue, the holiday could generate a net increase in state and local taxes of $5 million.
The increase in economic activity due to the tax holiday stimulus is also expected create a demand for additional labor as retailers bring on temporary help and overtime workers to handle the additional customers. The study estimates the tax holiday will generate an additional $182.2 million in wages.
Since 1961, the Georgia Retail Association has been working on behalf of the retail community to unite and pursue the common goal of creating the best environment for retailing in Georgia. Retail supports 1 out of 4 jobs in the state and is directly and indirectly responsible for 18% of Georgia's gross domestic product.