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New Canaan Stores Ready For Tax-Free Shopping Week

NEW CANAAN, Conn. –Whether you need back-to-school clothes for the kids or are looking to expand your own wardrobe, New Canaan 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.

Leslie Zeitlin, manager of Shoes N’ More on Elm Street, said she is waiting for shoppers to flock to the New Canaan shop during the tax break week.

“We always gear up for it. People are looking for that extra break,” Zeitlin said. “It’s something that a lot of people are looking forward to.”

Zeitlin said she expects people to get Ugg boots, shoes and even hats for the start of the new school year. “It’s busy each year they come in,” she said.

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 to Aug. 25, sales tax is not applied to everyday clothing and shoes that are under $300 each. Special items like 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.

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