For the second time this year, Connecticut shoppers will enjoy a tax free week on items like shoes and clothing valued at less than $100 beginning Sunday, Aug. 21 and running through Saturday, Aug. 27.
The sales tax holiday waives the state’s 6.35% sales tax on most, but not all, clothing and footwear sold for less than $100. Exempted items range from jeans and shirts to jackets and sneakers, dresses, baseball caps and socks.
Not included in the tax holiday is a shorter list of more specific items like boots, sports uniforms and activity-specific footwear such as roller skates, ballet shoes or football cleats. Other still-taxed items include lobster bibs, party costumes, and athletic supporters. Click here for a list of examples of covered and not covered items.
During a televised press conference in West Hartford on Wednesday, Tim Phelan, president of the Connecticut Retail Merchants Association, praised the annual tax free week as a boon for consumers and retailers of all types.
“There is a dynamic effect if you’re a retailer that doesn’t sell clothing and footwear but if consumers are coming in and making a savings here, they may go shop somewhere else. They might buy a meal at a restaurant, they may go to another store,” Phelan said.
The morning press conference took place at a Fleet Feet athletic apparel and shoe store in West Hartford. The store’s owner Stephanie Blozy told reporters that the weeklong sales tax break made late August one of her store’s busiest seasons.
“We will do more sales in the next week than we will for the entire month of December,” Blozy said. “This week is one that we really look forward to. It’s the perfect combination of kids going back to school, so they need new shoes for that to start up cross country and sports, but it’s also the height of marathon training season.”
The tax free week occurs annually during the third week in August as a result of a 2015 law. This year was unique in that consumers enjoyed an additional tax exempt week in April due to legislation passed this year, which also temporarily suspended Connecticut’s 25 cent-per gallon excise tax on gasoline.
During Wednesday’s press conference, Gov. Ned Lamont said consumers saved roughly $3 million during the April sales tax week. He said parents stood to save more in the coming week as they prepare for back-to-school season.
“Make sure your kid looks really sharp as they get back to school,” Lamont said.