HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — Shoppers in Maryland are about to partake of the annual tax-free holiday. But the COVID-19 pandemic makes this one is unlike any other.
The annual break for consumers feels somewhat out of place this year. To help Maryland merchants, sales taxes are lifted for the usual purchases of apparel and footwear as kids get ready for months in the classroom, gym and playground. But with the coronavirus, who knows when or even if the traditional school year might start?
A family at a Hagerstown mall is hopeful, even in the face of uncertainty.
“It’s fun just looking around what you want for school,” says school aged Rylee Stottlemeyer.
And for her aunt, just browsing has its rewards, even as it approaches retail therapy. “I just enjoy getting out and not being stuck in the house,” says Kellie Zambro.
But with the annual Maryland tax break next week, some consumers are especially eager. Take Rylee’s brother, David. “I’ll be getting a lot of shoes.”
Maryland’s chief tax official, Comptroller Peter Franchot, says with the economic downturn, retailers are counting on a rebound from the tax-free incentive. And he especially wants small business to benefit since it has taken the brunt of the damage to retail sales.
The National Federation of Independent Businesses hopes consumers regard the holiday this year as not just a “back to school” shopping experience.
The sales tax holiday runs from August 9 – 15.
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