The bad news is the reopening of schools signals the need to spend some money at a time and in an economy when wallets are already stretched in too many directions; but the good news is it’s also a time to save a lot of money.
At least, this has been the case in Tennessee compliments of the annual Sales Tax Holiday which in the Volunteer State is entering its sixth big year.
Beginning Friday, Aug. 5, at 12:01 a.m. through Sunday, Aug. 7, at 11:50 p.m., Tennessee shoppers — and plenty of parents — can save nearly 10 percent on tax-free clothing, school and art supplies and computer purchases.
Merchants throughout Cleveland and Bradley County are directly involved and have prepared their store shelves, racks and retail floors for the flurry of activity that will get under way early Friday and hopefully will continue throughout the busy weekend.
We urge local residents, if at all possible, to stay in the community and make your purchases here. With few exceptions, Cleveland and Bradley County stores can accommodate most every retail need. Your 10 percent savings will translate into a business boost for area merchants whose futures rely on local dollars and hometown patronage.
In speaking of this year’s annual Sales Tax Holiday, Gov. Bill Haslam is adamant in his support of the three-day blue-light special that was designed with Tennessee families in mind — especially those families with school-aged children.
Area legislators are just as supportive. They include State Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland who represents the 24th Legislative District; State Rep. Eric Watson, R-Cleveland who represents the 22nd Legislative District; and State Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville, who represents the 9th Senatorial District and is a Bradley County native.
In past years, and now, the trio of local lawmakers have been staunch advocates of the Sales Tax Holiday.
For those unfamiliar with the growing Tennessee tradition, during the three days of discounts, consumers will not be required to pay state or local sales tax on select 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.
A surprise to no one, the Sales Tax Holiday weekend is always successful. Last year, the pre-school-year sale provided some $8.6 million in tax savings to Tennessee taxpayers, according to statistics provided by Richard H. Roberts, state revenue commissioner.
For those preparing your shopping lists, the following are items eligible for the discounts:
— Clothing: Shirts, dresses, pants, coats, gloves and mittens, hats and caps, hosiery, neckties, belts, sneakers, shoes, uniforms (whether athletic or non-athletic) and scarves;
— School Supplies: Binders, book bags, calculators, tape, chalk, crayons, erasers, folders, glue, pens, pencils, lunch boxes, notebooks, paper, rules and scissors;
— Art Supplies: Clay and glazes, acrylic, tempera and oil paints, paintbrushes for artwork, sketch and drawing pads, and watercolors.
— Computers: Central processing unit (CPU), along with various components such as monitor, keyboard, mouse, cables to connect components and pre-loaded software.
Additional information may be found at the Sales Tax Holiday website at www.tntaxholiday.com, or from the Tennessee Department of Revenue via email at Salestax.Holiday@TN.gov or through the toll-free state hotline at 1-800-342-1003.
Saddle up, Cleveland!
It’s time to hit the stores!