Cumberland Times-News

Local News

July 29, 2010

Maryland to offer tax-free, back-to-school shopping

— CUMBERLAND — Jackets, jeans and jerseys will be tax-free for Maryland shoppers during the week of Aug. 8-14.

Backpacks, billfolds and blankets will not.

In an effort to encourage consumer spending, the state of Maryland is lifting its 6 percent sales tax on clothing, shoes and other items that cost $100 or less next month during its “Shop Maryland” tax holiday. The event coincides with the back-to-school shopping season.

In Allegany County, school starts Aug. 24.

“As in previous years, the tax-free week will attract business to local retailers as consumers seek bargains,” Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot said in a press release, noting that the state last offered an August tax holiday four years ago.

“The timing of the event, just prior to the start of school, will encourage families to shop in Maryland as they purchase back-to-school necessities.”

There is no limit on the number of items individuals can buy. For example, if someone bought 15 shirts for $80 apiece, they would save $72 in sales tax, or $4.80 per shirt.

But not everything qualifies for the tax break.

In a specific, if somewhat random, three-page list, the state spells out exactly what will be exempt and what will not during the event.

Diapers will be tax exempt, for example; diaper bags will not. Cold-weather gloves will be tax exempt, but garden gloves, surgical gloves and rubber gloves will not.

Other items that will be tax-exempt include: bowling shirts and shoes, bras, bridal gowns, underwear, caps and hats, Halloween costumes, coats, shoes, including flip flops, hiking boots, cowboy boots, hosiery, jogging apparel, pajamas, prom dresses and rain coats.

Some of the items that won’t be included in the deal include: purses, fabric, hair bows, bike helmets, other sports helmets, ice skates, umbrellas, wigs, wheeled tennis shoes, yarn and veils.

 A complete list of exempt and taxable items during the Shop Maryland event is available at www.marylandtaxes.com, or by calling the state Comptroller’s office at 1-800-MD-TAXES.

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