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Timing of sales tax holiday questioned
Families in Glynn County looking to escape sales taxes on back-to-school purchases this year will have to wait until after school starts in August to do their shopping.

The sales tax holiday - when state and local sales taxes are removed on all educational-related purchases - is set for 12:01 a.m. Aug. 10 to midnight Aug. 11, three days after public school students are slated to return to the classroom in Glynn County.

The holiday allows shoppers to avoid paying sales taxes on clothing items under $100, electronics such as computers and accessories, and general school supplies under $20. In Glynn County, that amounts to a savings of 6 percent.

Woody Woodside, president of the Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce, said he wished state legislators had scheduled the sales tax holiday earlier in the summer. He said he hopes they adjust the date accordingly next year.

"To ensure that participation would be maximized, it should have been placed closer to the first of the month," he said. "Late July would be preferable. That way, you are sure to take into account most all the school systems in the state."

Woodside said parents might want to put off the purchase of more expensive items, including computers, a few days to take advantage of the automatic 6 percent savings in Glynn County. That might be in addition to whatever special discounts retailers offer.

"I might want to wait that weekend (Aug. 10) to make the purchase," he said.

Of the three counties bordering Glynn, only Brantley County will begin the school year before the sales tax holiday. Students there will return to school Aug. 8.

Public school will start later in Camden County - Aug. 14 - and in McIntosh County - Aug. 13.

Other school systems start even earlier than Glynn, including Houston County, where students go back Aug. 1.

Georgia last held a tax holiday for back-to-school materials in 2009. It suspended the holiday after that year because of the economic downturn.

-The Associated Press contributed to this report

BREAKOUT

For list of educational-related purchases exempt from sales taxes, to the website etax.dor.ga.gov



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