Unlike past years, back-to-school shoppers will be out of luck when it comes to a tax-free weekend ahead of the start of school.

State officials confirmed to 11Alive News late Thursday morning that the annual rite of summer would not occur this year.

In past years, one of the last weekends before the start of school was earmarked as a tax-free weekend, which allowed consumers the purchase of clothing, electronics and back-to-school supplies to be exempt from tax.

For the sales tax holiday last year, the governor's Office of Planning and Budget estimated shoppers would save as much as $74.5 million. With no Sales Tax-Free Weekend this year, businesses are split over whether it will hurt their bottom line.

Matt Feldhake with Fleet Feet Sports in Lawrenceville says Back To School season leads to a lot of shoe sales, bu the doesn't believe ending the tax-free weekend will have a big impact on sales in his store.

"I think that people still have their needs," he said. "I think you're going to see less people maybe pushing off and waiting to shop on that particular weekend."

At Simply Mac, where Apple computers sell for more than a thousand dollars each, staffers think the lack of a tax-free weekend could hurt sales when compared to a year ago.

"I think it will probably impact the business negatively," said Rashaud Bryanthood of Simply Mac in Dunwoody. "I think you probably won't have as many consumers that are wanting to buy things."

The tax-free weekend traditionally has been created by the House Ways and Means Committee at the State Capitol. State Rep. Jay Powell (R - 171st, Camilla), chairman of the committee, says ending the tax break has been discussed for years.

"People are going to buy clothes for school," he said. "They are going to buy computers and supplies for school, and what the sales tax holiday did was it concentrated that activity -- but it didn't create any new activity."

For those who don't mind driving for their bargains: shoes, clothing and computers will be tax-free in Alabama the weekend of July 21-23, and in South Carolina and Florida the weekend of August 4-6.