No Back to School Sales Tax Holiday in Georgia this year

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As Back to School shopping ramps up mid summer, the Georgia Department of Revenue usually takes the opportunity to remind all Georgians that they will be able to shop tax free at the end of July.

Not so this year though!

Georgia Rep. Brett Harrell (R-Snellville) said there is definitley no tax holiday in Georgia this year. There was just no attempt to renew it. He has not been a big proponent of it in the past, and nor has the Tax Foundation, a national non-profit that studies the tax policies and the benefits, or otherwise, of such policies on the success of a community. Last year, the Tax Foundation noted that 17 states had a sales tax holiday, down from 19 in 2010 when the idea was at its highest. This year there are less than that, Georgia being another one to drop out for 2017.

According to the Tax Foundation, sales tax holidays do not promote exonomic growth, instead they just shift the timing of the purchases. Also, retailers often raise prices for the holiday so consumers don’t necessarily get the deal they think they’re getting. It also concluded that the sales tax holiday costs the state a lot of money. The organization noted that, in many instances, the items included in the holiday are arbitarily decided on, oftentimes to benefit politicians in courting favor with industries more than benefiting people looking to purchase either school supplies in the Back to School sales tax holiday or energy savings in the second sales tax holiday later in the year. Neither were renewed for Georgia for 2017.

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