Md. Comptroller Discusses Annual Tax-Free Week

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — If you’re looking for a good reason to hit the mall, here’s one.  The state is giving Marylanders a break with another tax-free holiday.

Jessica Kartalija has more.

The dog days of summer and Maryland’s capital are both booming with business.  Now, in an effort to keep everyone shopping locally, the state is doing away with sales tax for one week.

“I think it’s a little odd for the tax collector to be out saying, `Go out and shop when you don’t have to pay taxes,’ but this is a very important boost to Maryland consumers and Maryland retail and independent businesses,” said State Comptroller Peter Franchot.

From Aug. 14-20, Marylanders will not have to pay the six percent sales tax on clothing and shoes under $100.    The tax break comes as parents and kids get ready to head back to school.

“I think people really do want to shop locally and I hope they do.  More importantly, I hope people from Pennsylvania and Delaware come here,” said Patrick Donoho, Marylanders Retailers Association.

Retailers like Laurance Clothing say the tax-free holiday boosted sales 25 percent.

“We found last year that it carried all the way through Christmas.  They are taking advantage of season-end store sales, as well as the no sales tax,” said Larry Vincent, Laurance Clothing, Inc.

Economists hope it boosts Maryland’s economy and retailers hope sales boost their bottom line.

“Any time you get a tax break, it’s always beneficial.  Especially if you’re trying to buy more luxury items in this economy, it might help out,” said Beth Galperin from Anne Aundel County.

In addition to locally-owned stores and department store chains, you can also take advantage of tax-free shopping online.

The Maryland Retail Association expects to see stores running their own promotions in conjunction with the tax-free holiday.

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