Georgia Skips Out On Back-To-School Sales Tax Weekend | WABE 90.1 FM

Georgia Skips Out On Back-To-School Sales Tax Weekend

Jul 21, 2017

At a Target near Midtown, shoppers were stocking up on clothing and school supplies, but this year, there's no back-to-school tax break in Georgia because lawmakers didn’t pass a law calling for it.

Like us on Facebook

Kate Morgens, a teacher at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, said she was sad to learn there wouldn’t be a sales tax holiday this year.

“Usually I have to buy school supplies right before school starts, so when there is one right around the beginning of school that would be great – especially because your kids get bigger and get older and then suddenly you need bigger clothes, so it would be really beneficial,” Morgens said.

But Mercer University economics professor Allen Lynch said most retailers raise prices for the sales tax weekend, so Georgia shoppers aren't really missing out. 

"It's almost like a political gimmick,” Lynch said. “It's very appealing to consumers to hear that they're going to get this tax break."

It's not that great for shoppers, he said, because most retailers raise prices on products during this time, so it evens out.

"Consumers are generally very rational, but consumers find this notion of a tax break to be psychologically very appealing,” Lynch said. “And consumers really don't take the time to really study how prices change."

The state lost about $73 million in sales tax revenue during last year's back-to-school tax holiday. On average, the state of Georgia sees an 8 to 10 percent dip in revenue during this time. 

Lynch said retailers, who lobby hard for back-to-school tax holidays to bring more customers through their doors, are the only losers this year.

“Politically it is a very appealing thing to sell to constituents, but I reviewed a lot of literature and what generally happens is there really isn’t much of an impact,” he said.