TAKOMA PARK – While August is traditionally a slow week for many brick and mortar businesses, the tax-free week in August has become a popular one for shopping.
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot stopped by Amano in Takoma Park Aug. 4 to help promote Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week, scheduled to run from Aug. 14-20 and null Maryland’s six percent sales tax on clothing and shoe wear that is priced at $100 or less.
“If the legislature decided to repeal this there would be an armed revolt,” Franchot said.
As he began a statewide tour of businesses to promote the week, Franchot said tax-free week is a way for the state to stimulate commerce during a typically slow time of the year.
“It’s a very good answer to the dog-days of August and it jump starts the September season leading up to Christmas,” Franchot said.
Jeff McCandless, owner of Amano a clothing, jewelry and shoes boutique located on Carroll Avenue, estimates that his store gets a 10 percent bump during tax-free week.
“We really do appreciate each little bump we get,” McCandless said. “It’s a dreadfully slow month, so it’s perfect timing…it matches up nicely without end of the season sales, so it’s a win-win all around.”
The Maryland General Assembly approved tax-free week in 2007 and has since become the second most popular shopping week for consumers after late December just before Christmas according to Franchot.
Franchot said the state sees a net positive of $400,000 in tax revenue as consumers who go to take advantage of tax-free purchase end up buying non tax-exempt items.
According to Franchot, state loses and average of $600,000 in tax revenue during tax free week but gains an extra million as consumers up their buying habits.
Franchot stopped by Amano to kick off a five stop tour around the state of brick and mortar shops to promote tax-free week.
“We’re out to promote it just to remind people that it’s a great deal and it’s particularly good for brick and mortar retail businesses in Maryland,” Franchot said.