Like many school districts in the state, Floyd County Schools and Rome City Schools will have already started by the time the savings on clothing, school supplies and computers goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday and ends Saturday night at midnight.
This creates the question of whether the tax break will be as beneficial to parents and successful to businesses following a three-year absence.
“It has usually been one of our busiest times of the year,” said Chris Davis, assistant manger of Hibbett Sports in Mount Berry Square mall. “I think the mall will be really busy this weekend. People will wait so they can take advantage of the tax break.”
Among the items exempt from state sales tax for the 48-hour period are clothing, laptops, composition books, markers, book bags and scissors.
Davis said he has not specifically heard customers say that they were going to wait until the tax holiday to purchase the bulk of their back-to-school purchases but he has seen the signs.
“Normally business starts to pick up two weeks before school starts but that hasn’t happened this year,” Davis said. “So I think people are waiting for that tax break to kick in.”
Frank Bowen, manager of the Big Lots in the West Town Square shopping center on Shorter Avenue, admits that the way the tax holiday fell will probably affect them some, but he is optimistic.
“I think that parents will still come in and buy a lot of merchandise this weekend,” Bowen said. “But I do think it should be earlier.”
Bowen referenced the ease of getting early access to specific school supply lists for different grades and schools as a reason moving the tax-free days to a time before most school districts start classes.
He also said that those who find it hard to pass up a deal could make up any negative effects the timing of the holiday may cause.
“We have several people who have already bought back-to-school stuff but they may come back this weekend in order to get more stuff to last them through the year,” Bowen said.
Big Lots is also giving teachers an extra 10-percent off of their entire purchase on Saturday only, something Bowen said the chain of stores has done for several years.
“This is really going to help out teachers,” he said. “I have a lot of friends who are teachers and this is great for them.”
Georgia last conducted a tax holiday for back-to-school items from July 31 to Aug. 3 in 2009.