Carroll County takes advantage of tax-free week with back-to-school shopping

While people were out and about in Saturday's heat to work on back-to-school shopping, many had plans to head back out next week as Maryland Tax-Free Week takes effect.

Seven-year-old Calleigh Korman, of Westminster, stood in Kohl's on Saturday poring over possible new outfits. Calleigh, who will head into third grade at Mechanicsville Elementary School this year, isn't too excited to head back to school.

But, her mom, Adrienne Korman, said, new school clothes helps soften that blow.


By Saturday afternoon, Calleigh had picked out many shirts she was excited about. One had a colorful horse on the front, one an elephant, two came with necklaces.

"She loves horses," Korman added.

Sienna, Calleigh's 5-year-old sister, was making out too when it came to her new clothes. She'd picked a lot of dresses, her mom said. They're her favorite.

Sienna's excited to pick out clothes, especially — she's about to start her first year of school.

And while people were out and about in Saturday's heat to work on back-to-school shopping, many had plans to head back out next week as Maryland Tax Free Week takes effect.

Alan Brody, press secretary for the Maryland Comptroller's Office, said legislation came through in 2007 for the week, and it took place for the first time in 2008. It starts today, Aug. 14, and runs through Saturday.

"It's really become the second busiest shopping week of the year," he said — it follows the holiday season. "A lot of people have come to expect it."

This week is where the state's 6 percent sales tax is waived on qualifying clothing and footwear.

Items that fall under this week are "wearable good," Brody said. It doesn't include accessories. Items have to be under $100 individually, he added.

School supplies — notebooks, pencils, folders — don't fall under this week. But, he said, there have been efforts in previous years to get something like that through the legislature.

A lot of retailers couple tax-free week with promotions, he said. Westminster's Kohl's had a sticker on its doors reminding patrons of the week where sales tax gets waived.

Korman said while her and her daughters were out shopping this weekend before the sales tax is waived — they had a coupon that expired Saturday — they'll likely head back out again during the week to take advantage of the savings.

She figured they'd save shoes for next week to get the deals then, she said.

The Kormans aren't the only ones coming back during Tax Free Week.


Jackie Wachter, of Keymar, was shopping Saturday at Kohl's with her granddaughters, Autumn, 11, and Summer Ruskey, 13. It's an annual tradition for the three, where Wachter takes the sisters, who live near Taneytown, out for back-to-school clothes.

Autumn was looking for jeans this year before she heads back to school. It's tough, Wachter said, because Autumn's got such long legs. But they kept looking.

Summer was set on jeans, she said, but needed to pick up some new shirts before school kicked off. Both girls will attend Northwest Middle School this year.

Wachter said while they were shopping Saturday, the plan was for her to give any coupons or Kohl's Cash she got in this weekend's trip to the girls. Then, she said, they could use it during Tax Free Week.

Generally, Brody said, as a result of the week, their office loses revenue in the amount of a projected $6.4 million. But, it helps consumers and it helps businesses flourish, he said. So to them, it's worth it.

"Even though the state pocketbook takes a hit, we see it as positive," he added.

For a list of what items qualify under Tax Free Week, visit