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Retailers hope tax holiday brings out shoppers

LAWRENCEVILLE - The president of the Georgia Retail Association is hopeful back-to-school shoppers will line up at the registers during the state's sales tax holiday, which begins Thursday.

During the four-day sales tax holiday, articles of clothing, personal computers and general school supplies are exempt from state and local sales tax.

June revenues were down 4.5 percent compared to last year, said John Heavener, president of the Georgia Retail Association. Nationally, back-to-school spending is down 7.7 percent, but Heavener said he hopes Georgia bucks that trend.

"There's probably never a better time to go out and buy goods," he said, noting that many retailers are slashing prices during the sales tax holiday.

The exemption applies to the following items:

· Articles of clothing and footwear priced at $100 or less per item. There is no monetary limit on a purchase as long as the price of a single item does not exceed $100.

· A single $1,500 or less purchase of a personal computer and/or related accessories. The exemption does not require the purchase of a personal computer base unit, such as a tower, desktop or laptop, and is extended to peripheral devices such as modems, printers, speakers and nonrecreational software.

· General school supplies priced at $20 or less per item.

The sales tax holiday ends at midnight Aug. 2.

For a list of taxable and exempt items, visit the Georgia Department of Revenue Web site at http://etax.dor.ga.gov.