WILTON, Conn. –Whether you need back-to-school clothes for the kids or are looking to expand your own wardrobe, Wilton shoppers may want to wait until Aug. 19 when the state’s annual sales tax holiday begins.
For one week, shoppers across Connecticut will get a break from the 6.35 percent sales tax on most clothing and footwear under $300 each. This year, shoppers are expected to save $7.5 million during tax-free week, said Sarah Kaufman, a spokesperson for the state Department of Revenue Services.
The timing is excellent for parents as they prepare to send their children back to school, said Lauren Robak, owner of Une Minette, a women’s clothing shop in the Wilton River Plaza.
“It’s a really good time for girls to come in,” Robak said. “It’s really geared to our industry.”
Robak said she’s sent messages to customers through email blasts and the store’s Facebook page. Une Minette will partner with neighboring store Krik-it Clothes, which is geared to young girls.
“Any opportunity that gets people in is important,” she said. “It’s another way for people to shop locally.”
After the sales tax exemption on clothing and footwear under $50 was eliminated last July, Kaufman said more people took advantage of tax-free week last year than in previous years. The same is expected this year.
“People buying less expensive clothing didn’t feel they had to wait to do their shopping, since most of what they were buying was under $50 each,” she said. “But, since everything is taxed now, no matter what the price, people are making a more conscious choice to wait.”
During the sales tax holiday, which runs Aug. 19 through 25, sales tax is not applied to everyday clothing and shoes that are under $300 each. Special items, such as athletic clothing and footwear, do not qualify for the exemption. Jewelry, belts, handbags and other accessories also don’t qualify.
If an item is priced over $300, but the shopper has a coupon that brings the amount under $300, the item won’t be taxed. The exemption also applies to items purchased online, over the phone, by mail and to items placed on layaway that week.
“Helping people save during the back-to-school shopping season was one of the thoughts behind the program,” said Kaufman. “It’s supposed to be an incentive to get people into the stores and get more money moving again.”
More information about tax-free week is available online on the Department of Revenue Service's website.