Sales tax holiday returns to Ga. after 2 years

By: Trishna Begam Email
By: Trishna Begam Email

News 12 This Morning / Friday, Aug. 10, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- For the first time in two years, Georgia shoppers on the hunt for back-to-school bargains can skip out on paying the state sales tax. The sales tax holiday started Friday morning.

The sound of bargain hunting can be heard in stores all over Richmond and Columbia counties.

Moms and dads will hand over their hard-earned cash in exchange for, "Notebooks, pencils, erasers, all kinds of stuff," said Jack Niebling, who will start the second grade Monday.

His sister, Avery, has a list of her own.

"Crayons and markers," she said.

Their mother, Sara Niebling, tries to keep it all organized. She's on her third trip to the back-to-school aisle before all three of her children start classes Monday.

"I think I've probably spent about $200 to $250," Niebling said.

This weekend, parents like Niebling will get a 7 percent discount, thanks to Georgia's two-day sales tax holiday.

Stores like Target expect more carts to fill up and more registers to ring in the profits.

"Considering we haven't had tax-free weekend for three years, it'll be pretty crazy this weekend," said Susan Gary, the assistant store manager at Target at the Augusta Exchange.

The tax break comes with rules and restrictions parents need to pay close attention to, such as school supplies under $20 are non-taxable. New clothes need to be under $100 for you to get 7 percent off. Computers must be under $1,000.

"The biggest thing is book covers, they are the first thing that go, and we are sold out at the moment," Gary said.

That's why Niebling started her bargain hunting early.

"It's been a little crazy to try an manage all three children and three different lists, trying to make sure they have everything they need," Niebling said.

Especially since she has a few special requests this school year.

"I do have a backpack that has Hot Wheels cars on it," Jack said.

The two-day holiday ends Saturday evening when stores close. For a full list of the items that are tax exempt and items that are excluded, click here (PDF).

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