Fran­chot vis­its Out­lets, touts tax-free week

Record Observer - - News - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

QUEENSTOWN — Stop­ping in Queen Anne’s County Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, Aug. 16, Mary­land Comptroller Peter Fran­chot met with elected of­fi­cials at the Queenstown Pre­mium Out­lets to sup­port the Shop Mary­land Tax-Free Week, as well as bought a new swim­suit with the 6 per­cent sales tax sav­ings.

Gath­ered out­side the Ed­die Bauer store, Fran­chot and oth­ers pro­moted the an­nual sav­ings week for shop­pers. The idea be­hind the pro­gram is to al­low shop­pers to ready their fam­i­lies for the up­com­ing school year, though Fran­chot said the week of sav­ings is for all Mar ylan­ders.

Fran­chot said the week is “an act of com­plete bril­liance” be­cause it turns a slow shop­ping week in Au­gust into one of the busiest of the year. He said though the state loses about $6.5 mil­lion in taxes, it makes it up due to folks mak­ing ex­tra pur­chases that are not tax ex­empt.

“It’s a win for the state, it’s a win for the busi­ness com­mu­nity, and most im­por­tantly it’s a win for Mary­land tax­pay­ers,” Fran­chot said.

The comptroller also ex­pressed his plea­sure with see­ing all of the out-of­s­tate li­cense plates filling shop­ping malls in Mary­land, happy they are in­cen­tivized to shop in the area.

Pa­tri­cia Ca­hall, Queenstown Pre­mium Out­lets gen­eral man­ager, thanked Fran­chot for push­ing ini­tia­tives, like the tax-free week, to “help us in our sate, in our county, in our town­ships.”

Ca­hall praised Fran­chot for his work in push­ing the start of the school year to af­ter La­bor Day week­end, an ex­ec­u­tive order Gov. Larry Ho­gan signed this past leg­isla­tive ses­sion. She said the out­lets, like many busi­nesses, rely on lo­cal tourism to help gen­er­ate money, so one ex­tra week of beach­go­ers pulling off U.S. 50 and en­ter­ing the shop­ping cen­ter is ben­e­fi­cial.

Lisa Jones, di­rec­tor of mar­ket­ing and busi­ness devel­op­ment at Wil­liams­burg Pre­mium Out­lets, said though bar­gain deals can be found at the out­lets ev­ery day, “this week the trip is a lit­tle bit sweeter be­cause the deals are a lit­tle bit greater.”

For Queenstown Com­mis­sioner George Plumbo Jr., the tax-free week makes things much more af­ford­able to lo­cal shop­pers. “Ev­ery penny for a lot of fam­i­lies means buy­ing the right things for them,” he said.

Sher­iff Gary Hof­mann, who called the tax-free week a great in­cen­tive for fam­i­lies, said it’s es­pe­cially help­ful to peo­ple try­ing to make ends meet. He said the ex­empt sales tax can get fam­i­lies out buy­ing back­packs and other school items needed, mak­ing “the most of their hard earned dol­lars.”

Fol­low Mike Davis on Twit­ter: @mike_k­ibay­times.

PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIS

Front: Lisa Jones, di­rec­tor of mar­ket­ing and busi­ness devel­op­ment at Wil­liams­burg Pre­mium Out­lets, Comptroller Peter Fran­chot, Queenstown Com­mis­sioner George Plumbo, Jr., Queenstown Pre­mium Out­lets Gen­eral Man­ager Pa­tri­cia Ca­hall and Sher­iff Gary Hof­mann. Back: Cen­tre­ville Town Coun­cil­man Jim Beauchamp, Linda Fri­day with the county’s Cham­ber of Com­merce, and Queenstown Com­mis­sioner Hol­ger Schus­ter.

PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIS

Mary­land Comptroller Peter Fran­chot shows off his new bathing suit pur­chased dur­ing the state’s tax-free sales week while vis­it­ing the Queenstown Pre­mium Out­lets on Wed­nes­day, Aug. 16.

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