State Senator Paul Bailey (R-Sparta) is encouraging citizens to take advantage of Tennessee’s 15th annual Sales Tax Holiday set to begin this weekend.

This year, the General Assembly passed legislation extending the yearly tax-free weekend to two weekends and doubling the price limits on most tax-exempt items. This extension, which was supported by Sen. Bailey in the 2020/2021 state budget, will help Tennesseans save money and support local retail businesses and restaurants.

“These tax-free weekends will help keep more money in the pockets of Tennesseans as families, teachers and parents prepare for school to begin this fall,” Sen. Bailey said. “This year, I am glad the sales tax holiday will not only support local businesses, but it will also help support our local restaurants, many of which are struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. I was glad to support this initiative in the General Assembly and look forward to the positive impact it will have on our economy.”

The first tax-free weekend focuses on clothing and other back-to-school items. It begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 31, and ends Sunday, Aug. 2, at 11:59 p.m. During this time, consumers may purchase clothing, school supplies, and computers and other qualifying electronic devices without paying sales tax. Certain price restrictions apply. For school supplies and clothing, the threshold for qualifying items is $200 or less. For computers and other electronics, the price threshold is $3,000 or less.

Exempt items sold online are also eligible. Consumers must purchase items for personal use, not business or trade.

The second sales tax holiday weekend focuses on restaurant sales. It begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 7 and ends Sunday, Aug. 9, at 11:59 p.m. During this time the retail sale of food and drink by restaurants and limited service restaurants, as defined in Tenn. Code Ann. § 57-4-102, is exempt from sales tax.

For more information about the sales tax holiday weekends visit www.tntaxholiday.com.

National Federation of Independent Business State Director Jim Brown said the General Assembly’s decision to add a second sales tax holiday in August gives people another opportunity to help local businesses impacted by the pandemic.

“This has been a challenging spring and summer for local stores and restaurants,” Brown said. “Local merchants struggling to recover from the economic shutdown are having to spend additional dollars on equipment and supplies to help protect customers and employees from the coronavirus.

“Small business is what powers Tennessee’s economy. According to a study from American Express, 67 cents of every dollar spent at a small business stays in the community. It also creates an additional 50 cents in local business activity as employees and owners purchase local goods and services.

“We believe it’s important to support local businesses throughout the year, and this year’s tax-free holidays give people an extra reason to shop for school clothes and supplies from local merchants and support local restaurants.

“When you help small businesses, you help everyone.”

NFIB is the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization. For more information about NFIB in Tennessee visit www.NFIB.com/TN.