Shop Maryland Tax Free Week kicks off Sunday

Maryland shoppers can save on the state sales tax when they shop during Shop Maryland Tax Free Week, which begins Sunday.

The Maryland General Assembly passed legislation in 2007 making the second week of August Tax Free Week. During this period, each qualifying article of clothing or shoes that cost $100 or less is exempt from the state’s 6 percent sales tax. Shoppers can purchase as many items as they want at the same time.

Tax Free Week runs through Aug. 16.

Comptroller Peter Franchot said in a news release the event is especially helpful for parents with children in school.

"Each year this initiative helps Maryland families and gives large and small retailers a boost in these financially challenging times," Franchot said. "All hard-working Maryland moms and dads deserve this annual tax break as they prepare to send their children back to school."

Franchot will be promoting the annual shopping event at various locations throughout the state. He will visit the Mondawmin Mall in Baltimore, Hagerstown Premium Outlets, Velvet Lounge in Frederick, Westfield Annapolis Mall, Tanger Outlets-National Harbor and the Queenstown Premium Outlets.

Businesses selling items that are not eligible for inclusion in the tax-free week can still participate, though the business will be responsible for paying the sales tax owed to the state.

"Back-to-school shopping is the second biggest shopping season for retailers," Maryland Retailers Association President Patrick Donoho said in a news release. "In these tough economic times, retailers throughout the state will be offering promotions and sales to get shoppers into their stores."

The average family with children in grades K-12 is expected to spend $339.52 on apparel and shoes this year in preparation for sending their children to school, according to the National Retail Federation.

For more information on qualifying items, visit www.marylandtaxes.com , e-mail shopmaryland@comp.state.md.us or call 410-260-7980 or 1-800-MD-TAXES.

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