Diane Taylor was surprised and disappointed to hear there will be no back-to-school sales tax holiday in Georgia this year.
The Alma mom of three school-aged kids said she usually does at least part of her shopping during the annual tax break.
“With three kids you need every bit of help you can get,” she told the Times. “Seven percent may not seem like much, but it adds up when you’re buying as much as I have to every summer.”
The tax holiday was very popular among parents and teachers who bought items for their children and students, including school clothes, supplies, electronics and other items necessary for the upcoming school year. Those select items’ sales taxes were previously waved during the two-day tax-free weekend, but not this year.
The Georgia General Assembly did not vote on a sales tax holiday during their session earlier this year allowing the tax break to lapse for the first time in nearly a decade.
Last year, the governor’s Office of Planning and Budget estimated that Peach State shoppers would save as much as $74.5 million.
This isn’t the first time the sales tax holiday has been suspended. Georgia’s legislators did not approve the break early in the 2000s during the recession.
Local businesses expect to feel the pinch this year.
“It’s disappointing,” said retailer Mark Cohen. “It will definitely have an impact. The two days of the sales tax holiday are typically two of our better business days.”
“Customers are already asking about it and planning for it. I understand where the state is coming from. It’s a big loss for them. ”
“After the loss of some of the blueberry crop earlier this year, many businesses in Bacon County were already struggling. This is another straw on the camel’s back.”