However, this year the sales tax holiday will not return; state legislators did not renew the popular tax break weekend, citing a $2 billion budget deficit.
But back-to-school shoppers will still be able to catch a break.
Prime Outlets in Calhoun will host “Better than Tax Free Weekend” July 29-Aug. 1, where 28 out of 45 stores will offer customers an additional 10 percent or more off of their purchases throughout the special sales weekend.
“We were really disappointed when we heard the news that the state didn’t pass legislation. Sales tax is 7 percent, so we decided to make it better than the tax free holiday,” said Janet Paulsen, spokeswoman for Prime Outlets.
“We are all about frugal fashion, but everyone likes to have back-to-school clothes and wants their children looking their best. It’s going to help parents afford shoes, backpacks and clothing,” she added.
Darryl Burns, Vanity Fair Factory Outlet store manager, mentioned that the outlet store will sell name brand book bags for less than $10.
“I am glad that we are participating (in the better than tax free sale). One of the things that got people in Georgia shopping was the tax-free weekend. A lot of people really appreciate it,” Burns said.
RAK Outfitter’s owner Brandon Knight said he’s also happty to participate in the 10 percent weekend and the store will offer an additional savings on sales merchandise.
“Our summer stuff will be 20 percent off and we’ll throw the extra 10 percent off (with the discount),” Knight said.
RAK is locally owned and operated by Brandon and Jeni Knight, Gib Roland and Chad Castoe and offers outside gear and clothing, bookbags, shoes and socks.
Paulsen mentioned that another perk of the event is that stores that normally would be excluded from the tax-free holiday will be included in the outlet mall’s school sale.
“We have stores that normally wouldn’t be a part of it like Bath and Body Works. There’s also some nontraditional merchants like Direct Tools participating,” Paulsen said. “So, it’s a bonus this year and merchandise that’s not covered by the normal statewide holiday.”
The “Better than Tax Free Weekend” will officially begin on July 29 and end August 1. The exemption applies to clothing and shoes with a sales price of $100 or less per items.
Paulsen said that many stores that aren’t participating are planning their own sales and promotions and customers can expect savings all around.