BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Back-to-school shopping is kicking into high gear, and just in time, Maryland is giving families a break with tax-free shopping.

Monique Griego has more on how you can save.

Stores across Maryland will be dropping that six percent sales tax. While that’s obviously a benefit for consumers, state leaders hope it also gets retailers out of that summer slump.

Just in time for back-to-school, shoppers in Maryland are once again getting a little retail relief, thanks to the state’s annual Tax-Free Week.

“I have six kids, and because of back-to-school is about to get started, it would be beneficial for us to have it as far as my kids’ back-to-school shopping,” shopper Charles Gasque said.

From Aug. 12 through Aug. 18, shoppers will not have to pay the six percent sales tax on clothing and shoes under $100.

“When you purchase a lot of things at one store, it adds up,” Norresha Powell said.

“I think it helps. I think we shouldn’t have taxes on anything anyway,” shopper Doreen Gainer said.

State Comptroller Peter Franchot kicked off the shopping season on Wednesday while visiting stores at Mondawmin Mall in North Baltimore.

“We get calls three, four or five months ago saying, ‘When is this going to happen?'” Franchot said.

In addition to the obvious benefit for shoppers, Franchot says the tax break helps jump-start consumer spending.

“People sit on their money and they’re very tight with it because of the bad economy. This is an effort to say, ‘Come on. Let’s go!'” he said.

In previous years, retailers reported a 10 percent increase in sales. That’s something local stores are hoping for and expecting will happen again.

“Looking forward to a busy week. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be extremely busy,” store manager Letica Mills said.

For a list of exempt and taxable items, click here.


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