published Saturday, July 19th, 2014

Tax-free shopping coming Aug. 1 to Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee

READY TO SHOP?

Dates for tax-free, back-to-school shopping:

* Alabama: Aug. 1-3: clothing under $100, computers under $750, school supplies under $50, and books under $30 will be tax-exempt.

* Georgia: Aug. 1-2: clothing under $100, computers under $1,000, school supplies under $20 will be exempt.

* Tennessee: Aug. 1-3: clothing under $100, computers under $1,500, school supplies under $100 will be exempt.

Tax-free shopping starts at 12:01 a.m. on Friday and continues until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday in Alabama and Tennessee. Georgia's exemption starts at the same time Friday and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday.

  • photo
    MacAuthority employee Ben Cairns enters a computer preorder into the store's sales system on Thursday at Hamilton Place mall. Cairns says the sales tax holiday in Tennessee is the biggest weekend of the year for MacAuthority transactions, far bigger than even the Friday following Thanksgiving.
    Photo by Alex Washburn.
    enlarge photo

Back-to-school shopping may not have gotten easier, but it certainly can be cheaper.

Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee all continue to offer tax-free shopping holidays for specific school-related itemsthis year during the first weekend in August.

In Tennessee, shoppers will save nearly 10 percent by not paying local or state sales tax on designated items.

"This holiday offers Tennesseans great savings on important back-to-school items, and I encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity," Gov. Bill Haslam said in a news release.

Georgia also is offering shoppers an exemption from both state and local sales taxes, which amounts to almost 7 percent in most counties.

In Alabama, there will be no state sales tax, saving shoppers 4 percent statewide. A majority of counties and municipalities in that state are waiving local taxes, too, saving shoppers more than 8 percent on average on their purchases.

Nan Green, at the Creative Discovery Museum in Chattanooga this week with her children, said she uses the tax-free weekend every year to shop for her kids' clothing and school supplies.

"I love to shop and to save money, so this weekend is always a good thing," Green said. "Lines can make shopping a little more hectic, but it is always worth it for me."

The Target on Gunbarrel Road is preparing for a big weekend.

"We are getting ready for everybody coming in," said Lanier Lostin, executive team leader of guest experience at the Chattanooga East Target. "We are making sure all of our school supplies like binders and notebooks are stocked."

"It is usually a really big weekend for the store, and everyone is really excited to be shopping," Lanier said.

The tax exemption in Tennessee also applies to purchases made online and over the phone, but will not apply to purchases made for business or resale purposes.

Contact staff writer Kendi Anderson at kendi.anderson@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6592.

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