ATLANTA — Parents are looking for ways to save money and many are missing out on the tax-free vacation that was once a back-to-school tradition in Georgia.
In Kennesaw, at the School Box store, the shelves are stocked with items like pencils, books and markers. However, parents like Tonya Morgan can’t find it all.
Morgan moved to an area of a state that offered a tax-free school supply holiday only to find that doesn’t exist in Georgia.
“They’re asking us to contribute not just to the students but also to the teachers,” Morgan said. “I think taking away the tax-free weekend is an extreme ordeal.”
Tax relief that has lasted more than a decade in Georgia has been a delight for taxpayers but a burden on the state. It all ended in 2016 when the state legislature refused to approve it for another year.
Now, the owner of the School Box explained that most people have moved on.
“People’s thoughts are on other things,” said David Persson. “I think they’re much more concerned about saving gas and food.”
A 2011 study from Georgia State University found that vacations cost the state between $36 million and $50 million in lost tax revenue. State Rep. John Corbett supported continuing the vacation for the sake of taxpayers, but told 11Alive there was no data to prove it spurred additional spending or created additional jobs.
A spokesman for Georgia House Speaker David Ralston said: “The General Assembly has focused in recent years on reducing the tax burden at all levels for Georgian families.
Another relative, Tammy Stephens, lives in northwest Georgia, less than an hour from the Tennessee line. This state that still offers tax-free leave.
“Sometimes it’s an incentive to drive those extra 45 minutes so you don’t get taxed,” Stephens said.
While other states continue to offer back-to-school tax relief, in Georgia the holidays have become a fond memory.