Lawmakers say stopping the annual tax-free weekends will save the state tens of millions of dollars.
A Georgia law takes effect July 1 allows licensed weapons holders to carry concealed handguns on some parts of Georgia’s public colleges and universities.
Wesley Tharpe, research director of the Georgia Budget & Policy Group, has said the annual back-to-school holiday eliminates more than $70 million in state and local tax revenue. “That’s a sizable chunk of change when communities are struggling to fully fund their public schools or keep their local hospital from closing,” Tharpe said.
Other groups like the Tax Foundation say the weekends are an opportunity for retailers to hike up prices, preventing consumers from actually saving much money. The group also released data last year saying the weekends do not promote economic growth in states that offer tax-free weekends, but merely shifts when people go shopping.
However, Georgia consumers will still be able to find sales tax-free weekends in neighboring states, including South Carolina (Aug. 4-6), Florida (Aug. 4-6), Alabama (July 21-23), and Tennessee (July 28-30).