Shoppers expected to save nearly $8M during sales-tax-free week

Shoppers are expected to save nearly $8 million next week as Connecticut offers its annual sales-tax holiday.

Merchants will be offering items of clothing and footwear priced under $300 without charging the usual 6.35 percent sales tax starting on Sunday and running through Saturday, Aug. 24.

“This week-long sales tax holiday makes back-to-school shopping a little bit easier for working families, while also helping retailers boost their bottom line,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Friday during a press conference at a Bristol clothing retailer. “Many stores also plan sales and discounts to coincide with this week, which allows consumers to stretch their hard-earned money a little further.”

Consumers saved $7.5 million during last August’s sales-tax-free week, and the Department of Revenue Services is projecting $7.8 million in savings for this year’s event.

 “Sales tax-free week is the right time to shop for back to school or back to college but also for seasonal items like winter coats and boots,” DRS Commissioner Kevin B. Sullivan said.  “Best of all, merchant promotions will bring the sale price of more expensive items down below the $300 tax-free level.”

Tim Phelan, president of the Connecticut Retail Merchants Association, said clothing purchases represent the largest portion of parents’ back-to-school budgets, according to a national survey. 

The association “views the sales tax-free week as a win-win for all parties,” Phelan said.  “It’s a win for consumers because they get to see real savings on their purchases, a win for the state because these purchases and others will stay in the state, and a win for retailers who will see increased sales.”

Connecticut had exempted clothing items costing less than $50 from sales tax on a year-round basis. That exemption was repealed two years ago when officials grappled with a budget deficit of historic proportions.

Malloy and the legislature agreed this spring to reinstate the exemption — but not until June 1, 2015.

Further information about this year’s sales-tax-free week may be obtained on the Department of Revenue Services’ Web site at www.ct.gov/DRS.

 

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