Today is the final day for Columbia County residents to take advantage of Georgia's sales tax holiday, which spares shoppers from sales tax on certain school-related items as they prepare to send children back to school Wednesday.
The statewide sales tax exemption, which began Thursday, will run through midnight today. Items exempt from tax include clothing and footwear, computers and other computer equipment, and general school supplies.
Charles Willey, a spokesman for the Georgia Department of Revenue, said the department has no way of isolating Columbia County estimates, but said the Georgia State University Fiscal Research Center estimates that shoppers will be spared paying $10.38 million in state sales tax and another $6.5 million in local sales tax. The group estimated $9.9 million statewide and $6 million locally in 2004.
"Taxpayers are saving that much," Willey said, adding that people who buy larger items such as computers, or families with lots of clothing and supplies to buy, will benefit the most from the tax-free weekend.
"That's one reason, one of the philosophies behind the sales tax holidays to assist those families as they get their children the supplies and clothes they need to go back to school," he said.
Items not exempt from sales tax include accessories such as handbags and umbrellas and single clothing or footwear items costing more than $100 each.
Computers and accessories that cost more than $1,500 are not tax-exempt, nor are school supplies that cost more than $20 per item.
Parents were expressing interest in the holiday, said Karen Ribble, Columbia County school system special projects coordinator.
South Carolina will be holding a similar sales tax holiday next weekend from Friday through Sunday.
For more information on the Georgia sales tax holiday, including a detailed list of tax-exempt items, visit www.etax.dor.ga.gov and follow the links to sales tax holiday information.
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