Local mall creates its own tax-free holiday after Georgia ends tradition

Tammy Wright, support specialist, arranges a display of clothing before the store opens during the sales tax holiday in 2013 HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Georgia has officially cancelled its annual tax-free shopping weekends this year.

Read More: Georgia to skip sales tax-free weekend

According to the Georgia Department of Revenue, state lawmakers failed to pass legislation during this year’s Legislative session to provide for any 2017 tax holidays.

Read More: Georgia sales tax holiday good for shoppers, bad tax policy

In the past, Georgia has had two tax-free weekends — one during back-to-school shopping season for clothing, school supplies and electronics and another in the fall which offered savings on certain appliances with the ‘Energy Star’ or ‘Water Sense’ label.

This year, Georgians who want to do their back-to-school shopping tax-free will have to visit neighboring states like Alabama, Florida, South Carolina or Tennessee which are still offering tax-free shopping weekends.

Many shoppers during tax-free weekends in the past would flock to outlet malls for savings. And at least one area outlet mall is hoping to keep shoppers coming by offering its own version of tax-free weekend.

The Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta (at exit 9 on I-575) has announced its More Than Tax Free Weekend. Since shoppers will not save 6% on sales tax, the Outlet Shoppes will give shoppers and $8 gift card for every $100 spent on Friday, July 28 through Sunday, July 30. The Woodstock outlet mall is also offering extended hours on July 29 (9 a.m. – 10 p.m.) and July 30 (10 a.m. – 8 p.m.)

Shoppers who want to take advantage of the More Than Tax Free Weekend savings must save all receipts and visit the Guest Services desk in the Food Court where they will be given individual $8 gift cards for each $100 spent that day. All receipts must be from the same day, but can be combined from different stores in order to qualify.

Industry experts have debated the merits of tax-free weekend for many years with some saying the holiday did not have significant positive impact on the economy. Detractors have also suggested that retailers have increased prices during the holiday essentially eliminating any actual savings to consumers.

Lawmakers have said cancelling tax-free weekend will save the state tens of millions of dollars.

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