School tax savings will come late for some parents

9:45 AM, Jul 19, 2012   |    comments
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ATLANTA - Georgia's upcoming sales tax holiday offers a mixed bag for parents hoping to save money.

The good news is the popular tax savings is back after a three-year absence. But some consumers are frustrated by the timing.

The dates, August 10 and 11, falls after many schools begin. Several school systems start as early as the week of July 30, while Gwinnett County and Atlanta Public Schools start August 6.

So parents in those districts won't be able to take advantage of the tax exemption for school supplies before their kids go back to school.

"The dates were picked by the legislature in House Bill 386. The department, we're just enforcing the laws, what the law says," said Jud Seymour, spokesman for the Georgia Department of Revenue.

State lawmakers say with schools starting at different times, there's really no perfect date.

Georgia's last school sales tax holiday was earlier, happening July 31 through August 2 of 2009.

When tax revenues dropped significantly during the recession, lawmakers decided to drop the sales tax holiday in 2010 and 2011.

It's back this year, mostly because of a big push from the Georgia Retail Association.

Much of the pressure came from Georgia retailers whose towns border states like Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee -- all of which offered the back-to-school tax exemption days when Georgia didn't. 

On the tax-free days, consumers can expect to save on clothing items under 100 dollars; school supplies under $20 and single computers priced at $1,000 or less. See what else will be tax-exempt.

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