Area residents set for Sales Tax Holiday
by RICK NORTON, Associate Editor
Jul 30, 2013 | 1081 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With the fast approach of a new school season, parents are loosening up their wallets and flexing their checkbooks in preparation for a certain workout, but they’re hoping to keep the credit cards on hold thanks to anticipated savings from this weekend’s seventh annual Sales Tax Holiday.

To kick off at 12:01 a.m. Friday, the 10 percent sale on clothing, school and art supplies, and computer purchases will close at 11:59 Sunday night.

During the designated three-day weekend of lower-cost retail, Tennessee shoppers — including a plethora of bargain hunters in Cleveland and Bradley County — will not pay state or local sales tax on clothing with a price of $100 or less per item, school and art supplies with a price of $100 or less per item, and computers with a price of $1,500 or less.

State leaders like Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Revenue Commissioner Richard H. Roberts have hopped aboard the money-savings bandwagon by encouraging families — a group that will likely include those from neighboring states who choose to cross the border for a discounted good time — to make full use of the annual offer.

“I want to encourage Tennessee families to take advantage of the Sales Tax Holiday because it was created with them in mind,” Haslam said. “The weekend provides savings for families, especially as students are starting the new school year, and the holiday can provide relief on clothing, school and art supplies, and computer purchases.”

Roberts said last year’s Sales Tax Holiday was another major success and he anticipates this year’s version will be the same.

“As in years past, last year’s tax-free weekend was very successful, providing Tennessee taxpayers over $10 million in tax savings,” the state commissioner cited. “We are hopeful that Tennessee shoppers will again take advantage of the tax relief provided by the 2013 Sales Tax Holiday.”

Members of the Bradley County delegation to the 108th General Assembly, who played a hand in continuing to support the Sales Tax Holiday, joined Haslam and Roberts in endorsing the annual event. The group includes state Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland representing the 24th Legislative District; state Rep. Eric Watson, R-Cleveland representing the 22nd Legislative District; state Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville representing the 9th Senatorial District; and state Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga representing the 10th Senatorial District.

“It is always wonderful to announce to Tennessee families that the Tennessee tax-free holiday is back again,” Brooks said. “This Tennessee tax-free holiday is one more way the Tennessee General Assembly can return some of the hard-earned income back to our hardworking Tennessee families who earned it.”

Brooks said he and his family will be among the shoppers because they’ve got two children in college at Lee University.

“The Brooks family will join thousands of other Tennessee families as we prepare to send our kids back to college this fall,” the longtime legislator and assistant majority leader cited. “It’s good to know that so many of us believe in teaching, training and tax-free in Tennessee!”

Like his Tennessee House of Representatives colleague, Watson is excited about the coming weekend. He urged state residents to participate.

“It is once again that time of year for the citizens of our community to participate in our state’s annual Sales Tax Holiday,” Watson said. “This tax-free weekend presents a great opportunity to save money on back-to-school items or to stock up on much-needed essentials.”

Watson said Tennessee taxpayers have earned the right to enjoy three days of shopping free of sales tax on eligible items like clothing, school supplies and computers.

“I hope this holiday allows the people of our community to keep a bit more hard-earned money in their pockets,” Watson said. “I am an advocate of lower taxes across the board and will continue that fight in Nashville to help put even more money back in the bank accounts of Tennessee residents over the coming months.”

On the Senate side of the Tennessee Legislature, Bell said he can relate because he and his wife are parents of school-aged children.

“For those of us who are parents with children in school, Tennessee’s tax-free weekend is a great opportunity to get those back-to-school items,” Bell stated. “I encourage everyone to take advantage of this chance to save almost 10 percent on items they need.”

Gardenhire, who also is a proponent of the Sales Tax Holiday, could not be reached for comment. However, in past interviews and on the state Senate floor, he has openly supported the annual 10 percent discount for Tennessee residents.

Items exempted from sales tax during the three-day holiday include:

n Clothing: Shirts, dresses, pants, coats, gloves and mittens, hats and caps, hosiery, neckties, belts, sneakers, shoes, uniforms (both athletic and non-athletic), and scarves.

n School supplies: Binders, book bags, calculators, tape, chalk, crayons, erasers, folders, glue, pens, pencils, lunch boxes, notebooks, paper, rulers and scissors.

n Art supplies: Clay and glazes, acrylic, tempera and oil paints, paintbrushes for artwork, sketch and drawing pads, and watercolors.

n Computers: Laptop computers, desktop computers, tablets, central processing units (CPUs), along with various other components including monitor, keyboard, mouse, cables to connect components and pre-loaded software. (Note: While the CPU may be purchased separately, other items must be part of a bundled computer package in order to be eligible. iPads and other tablet computers are eligible for tax exemption, but smartphones and video game consoles are not.)

Additional information about the Sales Tax Holiday in Tennessee is available at www.tntaxholiday.com.

The Tennessee Department of Revenue also assists consumers via email, salestax.holiday@TN.gov, and through its toll-free statewide telephone hotline at 1-800-342-1003. Staff is available to answer questions Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Out-of-state and Nashville area callers should dial 615-253-0600.

The Department of Revenue is responsible for the administration of state tax laws and motor vehicle title and registration laws established by the Legislature, and the collection of taxes and fees associated with those laws. The Department of Revenue collects approximately 87 percent of total state tax revenue. During the 2012 fiscal year, the department collected $11.3 billion in state taxes and fees.

The department also collects taxes for local, county and municipal governments.

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Online:

www.tntaxholiday.com