I've heard of traffic grinding to a halt because of shoppers jamming the roads in search of bargains, but this is a first for me.
Two days tax free: First, here's the scoop on the event that's driving folks into the state's stores.
The Peach State's annual back-to-school tax-free event takes place Friday, Aug. 9, and Saturday, Aug. 10.
On those two days, sales tax is waived on:
- Clothing and footwear priced at $100 or less.
- School supplies selling for $20 or less.
- Computers and computer accessories priced at $1,000 or less.
Read the fine print: Be sure to check the state's official list of exactly what is and isn't tax-free.
And note that in addition to specific product restrictions, the sales tax holiday does not apply to otherwise tax-free items if they are sold for business use or are purchased in theme parks, entertainment complexes, hotels, restaurants or airports.
That's right. Travelers with a layover at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International or vacationers who don't get beyond their lodgings or amusement parks will still pay sales taxes on their purchases.
But those who do head to the state's retailers will find that their tax savings include not only Georgia's state rate of 4 percent, but also local sales taxes, which in some jurisdictions double the total sales tax take.
Making it easier to shop: And now Georgia shoppers won't have to worry about spending their tax savings on gas they wasted as they crept single file along road construction.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is suspending construction-related lane closures within five miles of a shopping mall or major shopping district on all interstates and major state roads.
"The sales tax holiday is an opportunity for Georgians to save a little money during these challenging economic times," said Transportation Commissioner Keith Golden in the statement announcing the temporary road openings. "The Department is glad to offer some relief from lane closures as families prepare for school."
The designated roads will be open starting 8 a.m. Friday, Aug. 9, until 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10.
That should be plenty of time for everyone to get out and get their items and tax savings without worrying about any detours.
Drive and shop carefully!