Tax-free shop­ping week ready to be­gin Au­gust 9

The Dundalk Eagle - - NEWS -

In a year that has been any­thing but nor­mal, Comp­trol­ler Peter Fran­chot re­minds Mary­lan­ders that one thing re­mains the same: Shop Mary­land Tax-Free Week be­gins Sun­day, Au­gust 9th with big sav­ings for cus­tomers, schol­ar­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties for col­lege and trade school stu­dents and a cat­a­lyst to spur sales for re­tail­ers.

“This is one of my fa­vorite weeks of the year be­cause it’s a win for shop­pers and busi­nesses, while jolt­ing Mary­land’s econ­omy dur­ing the slow sum­mer months,” said Comp­trol­ler Fran­chot.

“This year more than ever, it’s crit­i­cal to shop lo­cal to sup­port the small re­tail­ers who are go­ing above and be­yond to con­tinue pay­ing em­ploy­ees, cre­at­ing a safe en­vi­ron­ment for cus­tomers and find­ing new ways to sell their prod­ucts dur­ing a global pan­demic.”

From Au­gust 9 through the 15, any sin­gle qual­i­fy­ing ar­ti­cle of cloth­ing or footwear priced $100 or less – re­gard­less of how many items are pur­chased at the same time – will be ex­empt from the state’s six per­cent sales tax. The first $40 of any back­pack pur­chase is also tax free.

Al­though com­monly as­so­ci­ated with back-to-school shop­ping, Comp­trol­ler Fran­chot re­minds Mary­lan­ders that the tax-free sav­ings ap­ply to shop­pers of all ages.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the Mary­land

Re­tail­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (MRA) is once again of­fer­ing schol­ar­ships to two stu­dents at­tend­ing a Mary­land univer­sity, col­lege or trade school ($1,000 for first place and $500 for sec­ond place) by ex­plain­ing how they helped a Mary­land busi­ness keep the lights on dur­ing the COVID-19 pan­demic.

Ex­am­ples might in­clude help­ing to build or im­prove a com­pany web­site, cre­at­ing unique con­tent for a so­cial me­dia ac­count or go­ing above and be­yond as a store em­ployee to ful­fill on­line or­ders.

En­tries may be sub­mit­ted via email to shop­md­taxfree@ mary­land­taxes.gov or they can be posted on the tax-free week’s so­cial me­dia pages: Shop Mary­land Tax Free on Face­book and @shop­md­taxfree on Twit­ter and In­sta­gram.

Busi­ness own­ers, par­ents, col­leagues and friends are en­cour­aged to sub­mit a nom­i­na­tion. Stu­dents may also self-nom­i­nate.

“Small busi­nesses de­pend on their com­mu­nity to sur­vive un­ex­pected and long-last­ing eco­nomic down­turns,” said Cai­ley Lock­lair, pres­i­dent of the Mary­land Re­tail­ers As­so­ci­a­tion. “We want to hear about the young peo­ple who have stepped up dur­ing this global pan­demic to sup­port their lo­cal re­tail­ers. They de­serve our ap­pre­ci­a­tion and we’re happy to pro­vide these schol­ar­ships to two wor­thy re­cip­i­ents.”

The Univer­sity Sys­tem of Mary­land has agreed to match the $1,000 schol­ar­ship award if a stu­dent at­tend­ing one of their uni­ver­si­ties is se­lected as the first place win­ner.

Ad­min­is­tra­tors at Steven­son Univer­sity, Hood Col­lege and the Mary­land In­sti­tute for Col­lege Art (MICA) have also agreed to match the $1,000 first place prize if one of their stu­dents is se­lected.

MRA, which is pro­vid­ing the schol­ar­ship money, will se­lect the two en­tries that best ex­hibit a young Mary­lan­der sup­port­ing a small busi­ness dur­ing these chal­leng­ing times.

For more in­for­ma­tion about Shop Mary­land TaxFree Week, visit www.mary­land­taxes.gov, hover over the “News” tab and click on Comp­trol­ler Ini­tia­tives. There, you can find a list of tax-ex­empt items, a list of fre­quently asked ques­tions and some help­ful facts for shop­pers and mer­chants.

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