Thursday, October 16, 2008

TN Shoppers saved $9 mil during fall tax holiday

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According to new figures released by the Tennessee Department of Revenue, sales tax holiday shoppers’ habits apparently changed very little.

While official totals will take more time, records show shoppers saved around $9 million in sales tax over the three-day exemption period at the beginning of August. The total is right in line with totals from the state’s previous three holidays. Shoppers saved $8.5 million in April 2008, $8.5 million in August 2005 and $9 million in April 2007, according to a department release Friday. During Tennessee’s first tax holiday in August 2006, shoppers saved about $15 million, records show.

“It’s been pretty consistent,” said Glen Page, deputy commissioner for the revenue department.

The consistency probably stems from the nature of the exemptions, Mr. Page said. Most of the tax-free items are annual necessities for schoolchildren such as binders, book bags and pencils.

“You have to have those. It’s not very discretionary,” Mr. Page said.