published Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Sales tax takes a holiday

Back-to-school supplies, clothes, computers exempt over weekend

Tri-state residents can shop tax-free for back-to-school supplies, clothes and computers this weekend — even if they’re not headed back to class.

Everything from caps to underwear — top to bottom — has been granted tax-free status, but there are exceptions to the exemptions. A belt purchase is included, but not a belt buckle sold separately. Pajamas are allowed, but not hair notions. Raincoats are permitted, but not umbrellas.

There’s a maximum price allowed per item, but you don’t have to be school-age for the exemptions to apply. Diapers, girdles and neckties also have tax-free status, though state policies may differ on some merchandise. Sneakers, for example, are exempt in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia, but only Georgia permits athletic shoes with cleats or spikes as a tax-free purchase.

Also remember that while state revenuers are taking a pass on charging sales tax, some cities and counties may still collect theirs.

Exemptions will be in effect Friday and Saturday in Georgia, Friday through Sunday in Tennessee and Alabama. See ChattanoogaNow.com for reference lists for each state.

TENNESSEE

Duration: Midnight Friday, Aug. 1-midnight Sunday, Aug. 3.

Maximum tax-exempt price per item: Clothing and shoes, $100; school and art supplies, $100; computers, $1,500.

ALABAMA

Duration: Midnight Friday, Aug. 1-midnight Sunday, Aug. 3.

Maximum tax-exempt price per item: Clothing and shoes, $100; school supplies and textbooks, $50; other books, $30; computers, $750.

GEORGIA

Duration: Midnight Friday, Aug. 1-midnight Saturday, Aug. 2.

Maximum tax-exempt price per item: Clothing and shoes, $100; school supplies, $20; computers, $1,000.

WHILE YOU’RE SHOPPING …

Shoppers taking advantage of tax-free back-to-school sales at Academy Sports + Outdoors on Saturday, Aug. 2, can register for the fifth annual Chattanooga Mud Run, a 5K race through a muddy obstacle course Saturday, Aug. 16, at Greenway Farms. Officials from Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga Area will be on hand to answer questions and sign up participants (14 and older). Those who register Saturday will receive Mud Run gifts valued at $70. Sign-ups are scheduled 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Hamilton Place store, 2220 Hamilton Place Blvd., and 2-5 p.m. at the Hixson Store, 5929 Highway 153. For more information, visit www.chattanoogamudrun.com.

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