The dog days of summer are coming to an end, and with it, an annual tradition returns.
Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week, which runs this year from August 8-14, means savings for shoppers, a much-needed sales boost for retailers, and a chance for students to win scholarships.
During this week, any single qualifying article of clothing or footwear priced $100 or less – regardless of how many items are purchased in the same transaction – will be exempt from the state’s 6 percent sales tax. The first $40 of any backpack purchase is also tax-free.
Backpacks may be one of the many tax-exempt items, but don’t mistake tax-free week as only applying to back-to-school shopping. In fact, Marylanders of any age can take advantage of big savings. For anyone returning to the office after a long stretch of working from home, there’s no better time to refresh your wardrobe
Moreover, it’s an important opportunity to support independent retailers still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic. Locally owned businesses like Coterie or The Cottage are the beating heart of our state’s economy and we can’t afford to lose them.
As in years past, the tax-free week also brings scholarship opportunities for college and trade school students.
The Maryland Retailers Association is generously offering scholarships to two students attending a Maryland university, college, or trade school, with a $1,000 award for first place and a $500 prize for second place. Some institutions included any within the University System of Maryland, have offered to match the scholarship, if one or both of the winners attend its schools.
To enter, students must email a creative photo or video (less than 60 seconds) promoting tax-free week, showcasing their purchases and their support of Maryland retailers to SHOPMDTAXFREE@marylandtaxes.gov. Entries also should be posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok using the hashtag #shopmdtaxfree.
For best consideration, submissions should display and tag the name of the retailer and explain why it’s their favorite place to shop tax-free.
More information about Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week can be found on the agency’s website where there’s a list of tax-exempt items, frequently asked questions, and valuable facts for shoppers and merchants.
I’m grateful to live and work in Maryland, where our high vaccinations rates have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal, even with valid concerns about the spread of the Delta variant. While I continue to urge caution, I encourage Marylanders to take advantage of tax-free week and support their local retailers.