Cobb stores gear up for tax-free weekend
by Emily Boorstein
August 01, 2014 04:00 AM | 2626 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Georgia’s sales tax-free holiday starts today and local retail representatives are comparing the weekend to Black Friday.

“It is right up there with the busiest holiday weekend,” said Shelly Weidner, spokeswoman for Town Center at Cobb Mall. She said mall traffic has doubled or even tripled in the last week as Cobb School District students prepare to head back to school Monday.

Items exempt from sales tax today and Saturday are aimed at back-to-school shopping, and include clothing, classroom supplies and computers.

The Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget estimates the two-day holiday will save Georgians up to $70 million.

“Reducing the tax burden on hard-working families has always been a top priority of mine,” said Gov. Nathan Deal. “This sales tax holiday will allow Georgia families to save money on those necessary items for school, and it is my hope that they get out this weekend and take advantage of this opportunity.”

Georgia’s first tax holiday was in 2002, and it’s been conducted every year since, except for 2009, 2010 and 2011, when state officials said they couldn’t afford it. In April, Deal

extended the holiday for two years.

Like Town Center, the Wal-Mart on South Cobb Drive near the Big Chicken in Marietta is preparing for a high volume of customers.

Scott Wilkins of Canton is the store manager and said a typical weekend at his store sees about 68,000 to 72,000 transactions. This weekend, he said he wouldn’t be surprised if the store sees 900,000 transactions, which would translate into an 8 to 12 percent increase in sales.

He said his store will have several schools’ supply lists on hand and extra staff will be present to man the cash registers, restock items and help customers find what they need.

The store has also rolled back prices on popular items, including electronics.

“We have a wireless printer for $39. I’m not sure we had that one even available during Black Friday.” Wilkins said.

Aaron Dye, the store manager at the Chastain Meadows Walmart Supercenter on Barrett Parkway, said the store will also increase staff in its back-to-school supplies, apparel and electronics departments.

He listed neon-colored crates as well as fashion pencil and pen carriers among some hot back-to-school items.

“Themed-items from the movie ‘Frozen’ remain very popular,” Dye said.

At Town Center, shops catering to juniors have remained in demand among shoppers this week, and Weidner encouraged people to come to the mall this weekend for special deals and a style event taking place Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m.

TAX-FREE HOLIDAY:

When: Two-day holiday started today at midnight and lasts through Saturday night at midnight

What: It includes clothing (including footwear) with a sales price of $100 or less per item.

Computers, computer components, and prewritten software purchased for noncommercial home or personal use with a sales price of $1,000 or less per item.

School supplies with a sales price of $20 or less per item.

Exempted items include: clothing accessories such as jewelry, handbags, umbrellas, eyewear, watches and watchbands.

For a complete list: Go to https://etax.dor.ga.gov/ and click on the Georgia Sales Tax Holiday tab



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