Get those shopping lists ready, the State of Maryland is offering its annual Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week Aug. 12-18 and, this year, is also conducting a contest to publicize Maryland shopping.
Two winners will receive $2,500 and $1,000 scholarships, respectively, to any Maryland university, college or trade school.
And it is the one week each year that consumers can purchase clothing and foot wear priced at $100 or less without having the 6 percent tax added.
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot and the Maryland Retailers Association (MRA) July 30 announced the social media contest coinciding with Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week.
To enter the contest, shoppers should like or follow the official social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, then snap a picture or take a video that incorporates the theme of “Maryland” (the state colors, school apparel, sports team, a crab, etc.), write a creative caption and use #shopmdtaxfree during Tax-Free Week to submit an entry on any or all of the social media platforms, according to a press release from the Maryland Office of Comptroller.
MRA, which is providing the scholarships, will select the two entries at the week’s conclusion that best reflect the spirit of Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week.
“The State of Maryland loses money during Tax-Free Week, but it’s a big win for locally-owned businesses and for shoppers,” said Franchot in the release. “This will be the easiest scholarship Maryland college students will ever have the chance to win. There’s no application, no essay and no interview — just shop tax-free.”
“Tax-Free Week provides a much-needed boost to brick-and-mortar retailers in our state, and we encourage all consumers to support their local businesses,” said Cailey Locklair Tolle, MRA president. “This year we are again thrilled to help promote shopping local and Tax-Free Week by offering scholarships to our contest winners.”
During Tax-Free Week, 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 or bookbag purchase is also tax-free.
To get the latest details about Tax-Free Week and to enter the contest, like or follow the social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Resulting from legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly in 2007, the tax-free week is held annually during the second week in August. Businesses selling items that are not eligible for inclusion in the tax-free week can still participate in Shop Maryland. Under “Sellers Privilege,” other unqualified merchandise can be sold tax-free, but the retailer is responsible for paying the sales tax owed to the state.
For more information on qualifying items, visit marylandtaxes.gov, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 410-260-7980 (Central Maryland) or toll-free at 1-800-MD-TAXES.