Legislators urge people to shop during tax free week

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Lezlye Zupkus
Lezlye Zupkus

HARTFORD — As the start of the next school year approaches, area lawmakers wants parents to take advantage of “sales tax free week” beginning Sunday.

State Rep. Lezlye Zupkus (R-89) urged parents to shop during the one-week exemption period that ends Aug. 24. Tax-free week eliminates Connecticut’s 6.35 percent sales tax on all clothing and footwear costing less than $300 per item.

State Sen. Joseph Crisco, Jr. (D-17) underscored the dual purpose in Connecticut’s week-long sales tax moratorium.

The sales tax hiatus is also intended to spur sales, help retailers clear shelves and move merchandise, and increase foot traffic in traditional hubs of back-to-school preparation, Crisco said in a press release.

“This initiative has now been part of Connecticut’s landscape for more than a dozen years, giving families across our state a helping hand as they face significant expense getting children outfitted for the new school year,” Crisco said. “The cumulative savings of that sales tax on classroom supplies, clothing, footwear and cold weather gear adds up to a meaningful amount very quickly.”

Tax Free Week was first enacted in 2000 and applies to most clothing and footwear purchases that are intended for everyday use. Goods not covered under the program include items that are solely intended for use in sporting activities and accessories such as jewelry, watches, handbags and wallets.

Connecticut is one of only two states to schedule a full sales tax-free week.

Joseph Crisco
Joseph Crisco

“In terms of generating a boost for our local economy, I liken our sales tax hiatus to any other tax credit or exemption we have in state statute — an investment of state revenue with an expected return of increased sales and overall economic activity,” Crisco explained. “A 6.35 percent savings is often enough to encourage people from neighboring states to visit or stop off and shop in our state.”