Con­struc­tion will con­tinue dur­ing sales tax hol­i­day

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - ROB DEWIG rdewig@cov­news.com

Parts of New­ton County’s stretch of In­ter­state 20 will close to traf­fic this week­end, one of just a hand­ful of road con­struc­tion projects un­der­way statewide to not be shut down for the tax free week­end.

The Ge­or­gia De­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion plans to sus­pend con­struc­tion lane clo­sures on all in­ter­states and ma­jor state high­ways from 8 a.m. Fri­day through 10 p.m. Satur­day. That ap­plies ev­ery­where “within five miles of a shop­ping mall or ma­jor shop­ping district.” Which we aren’t. The New­ton County sec­tion of I-20 “is not within five miles of a ma­jor shop­ping district and the clo­sures are in the EB (east­bound) lanes, mov­ing away from

shop­ping dis­tricts,” DOT press sec­re­tary David Spear said in an email Thurs­day.

“In a broader con­text, each con­trac­tor is given a de­fin­i­tive com­ple­tion date and can in­cur liq­ui­dated dam­ages if they don’t meet those dates, so it is in­cum­bent upon us to give them ev­ery rea­son­able op­por­tu­nity to work to meet their tar­get dates,” Spear added.

The I-20 resur­fac­ing project stretches from the in­ter­sec­tion of state high­ways 20 and 138 in Rock­dale County eat to Al­covy Road and will be­gin Fri­day night, “weather per­mit­ting,” ac­cord­ing to a DOT press re­lease.

The two left lanes on west­bound I-20 from Al­mon Road to 20/138 will be closed from 9 p.m. Fri­day to 5 a.m. Mon­day. Crews will re­move old as­phalt and re­place it with new. The project’s to­tal cost is $11.5 mil­lion, and should be com­pleted by the end of the year with crews work­ing only on week­ends and at night.

Also, the left lane of the bridge on I-20 east­bound be­tween mile mark­ers 92 and 95 will be closed from noon Sun­day through noon Fri­day, weather per­mit­ting. Heavy equip­ment will fre­quently be present, and a flag­man may be present to di­rect traf­fic. Ex­pect de­lays. But if you get out this week­end, ex­pect sav­ings, too. The tax-free “week­end” tech­ni­cally be­gins at 12:01 a.m. Fri­day and ends at mid­night Satur­day. Some items – of­ten strange items – will be ex­cluded from the 4 per­cent state sales taxes, plus all lo­cal sales taxes. The Ge­or­gia Re­tail As­so­ci­a­tion es­ti­mates that fam­i­lies with chil­dren in grades K-12 will spend about $670 this year on clothes, shoes, elec­tron­ics and school sup­plies.

In gen­eral, items that qual­ify for tax-free sta­tus in­clude cloth­ing and shoes that cost less than $100; com­put­ers; and crayons, pen­cils and other com­mon school sup­plies.

The ex­empt list in­cludes some head-scratch­ers: “an­tique” cloth­ing, baby clothes, sus­penders, capes, cos­tumes (ex­cept masks sold separately), adult di­a­pers, garters, leg warm­ers, bow ties, ice skates, “vests,” com­put­ers but not cell phones, scan­ners but not surge pro­tec­tors, web cam­eras but not TVs, book bags but not brief­cases, high­lighters but not med­i­cal sup­plies, scis­sors, pen­cil sharp­en­ers and gir­dles.

Items that will still be taxed this week­end in­clude: baby bibs, cor­sages, cos­met­ics, cuff links, di­a­per bags, sun­glasses (non-pre­scrip­tion), fanny packs, hair bows, hand­bags, hard hats, jew­elry, life jack­ets, swim­ming gog­gles, sewing ma­te­ri­als, um­brel­las, wallets, watches, wigs, bat­ter­ies, CDs and DVDs, copy ma­chines, dig­i­tal cam­eras, game con­trollers, MP3 play­ers, pro­jec­tors and en­velopes.

For more in­for­ma­tion on Ge­or­gia’s tax-free hol­i­day, visit etax.dor.ga.gov on­line.

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