BALTIMORE, Md. - Hold off on any weekend shopping until Sunday that's when Maryland tax-free week kicks off.
Sunday, August 13 through Saturday, August 19, all qualifying apparel and footwear will be exempt from the standard six percent tax.
“As long as you purchase an item that's less than $100 it's tax-free,” said Maddy Voytek, the legislative and membership assistant with the Maryland Retailers Association.
Dresses, uniforms, bowling shirts, even diapers are tax-exempt.
“If you can find a bridal dress for less than $100, it's technically tax-free. Same thing with fur coats too,” Voytek said.
And thanks to new legislation that took effect last month, backpacks and bookbags now make the tax-exempt list.
“You can buy a backpack for actually any price and the first $40 of that backpack is going to be tax-free that was something we fought for this session,” said Voytek.
The remaining balance would then be taxed. Voytek said they would’ve liked it to be the same $100 promotion, but it was a compromise so that the general revenue wouldn't decrease too drastically.
According to the bill’s fiscal note, Maryland's two sales-tax periods are estimated to reduce the general revenues fund by $7 million in 2017.
“We see more and more people are going online and they're going online because they don't have to pay sales tax. Well, this is the one week where Maryland no longer is at a disadvantage,” Voytek said.
The association encourages consumers to support the local brick and mortar stores and their communities.
And while school supplies aren't included in the promotion, you can still count on seeing some good deals.
“Obviously, guys are holding sales because it's back to school, summer clearance, and all of that sort of stuff so get into the stores, shop a lot, shop frequently, go everywhere go to all the malls, do it all,” said Voytek.
The Maryland Retailers Association is also offering two scholarships this year. No one applied for the $2,000 they had in their educational foundation, so they're taking that money and turning it into a contest.
You can win a scholarship by taking a picture while you're out shopping, post it with a fun caption, and #ShopMDTaxFree. They'll judge the photos then select two winners.
For a full list of all tax-exempt items, click here.
The Comptroller’s Office provides more information on the Maryland tax-free week and weekend on their site, here.