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Sales tax holiday arrives
Signals back-to-school shopping frenzy
Erin Powell checks out notebooks for school at Super Target on Market Place Boulevard in Cumming. The annual Georgia Sales Tax Holiday is Friday and Saturday. - photo by Micah Green

At a glance

Georgia’s Tax-Free Holiday will run from 12:01 a.m. Friday to midnight Saturday across the state. Shoppers can look for many items, such as school supplies, electronics, and apparel. For a complete list of items that will be tax-free this weekend, go to

FORSYTH COUNTY — While most students probably don’t want to think about it, the Forsyth County school system will open its doors for the 2014-15 academic year on Aug. 7.

The good news — for parents, at least — is that they will have time to do a little tax-free, back-to-school shopping before classes start.  

The annual Georgia Sales Tax Holiday will run from 12:01 a.m. Friday to midnight Saturday.

During the two-day period, shoppers can take advantage of no sales tax on a range of items, all geared toward the back-to-school season.

Among the tax-exempt items will be clothing and footwear with a sales price of $100 or less per item.

The exemption does not include items such as jewelry, handbags, umbrellas, eyewear, watches and watchbands.

Other items that will be tax-free this weekend are computers and their components, as well as software, with a sales of price $1,000 or less per item.

Of course, all school supplies less than $20 per item are included in the exemption.

Those include everything from book bags and composition paper to pencils, crayons, protractors and reference books.

Forsyth merchants are getting ready for the tax-free rush.

Zane McCusker, manager of Walmart on Peachtree Parkway, said the weekend will be a good time for area residents who haven’t done so already to check out the store, which opened this spring.

“I think this will be the first time that a lot of customers in the area will actually be trying us out, giving us a shot and coming to visit with us since a lot of people have probably been out of town on vacations,” he said. “Now is the time when people start getting back into their regular routines.”

He said additional staff members will be brought into areas that will likely see the most traffic, such as electronics, apparel and the cash registers.

“We’ll be running some bulk offers with items like basic T-shirts, socks and underwear, because we’re anticipating those are the drivers that are going to get people to come shop with us,” he said. “We’ll also be demo-ing some of our different models of tablets and laptops, just so the customers know the assortment that we carry.”

Over on Market Place Boulevard, manager Steve Reid said employees at the Super Target will also be ready for a rush this weekend.

“The tax-free holiday has always been a popular time for guests to shop for back-to-school to get additional bargains,” he said. “… Target always offers the Target Red Card so guests can get an additional 5 percent off anytime. So that combined with the tax-free holiday is a great way to save.”

Like at Walmart, Reid said Target employees are anticipating a lot of traffic in the electronics and apparel departments, as well as special areas focusing on school supplies.

“Calculators, even with [tablets] and cell phones, are still needed in a lot of the classrooms and of course tablets themselves are big since many schools have ‘bring your own technology’ programs now,” he said. “Always popular are binders, backpacks, crayons — things that everybody needs to get ready for back-to-school — and of course clothing, shoes and denim are always very popular.”

McCusker said he’s expecting increased business even from those not shopping for school.

“We’re expecting a lot of people to take advantage of the tax-free holiday,” he said. “… Just the fact that you can purchase the electronics or apparel tax-free, that’s a great incentive for them to get out into the stores and make those purchases on those high-ticket items and be able to save a little bit of money.”