TN lawmakers approve two sales tax holiday weekends in hopes of helping small businesses

Tennessee

KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – Later this summer, Tennesseans will have two weekends to make purchases without sales tax on specific items.

The Tennessee General Assembly included the sales tax holiday expansion in the 2020-2021 state budget approved early Friday morning.

According to State Rep. Bud Hulsey (R-Kingsport), the intent was to help small businesses struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

FILE – Rep. Bud Hulsey

“I think the focus from the legislature has been to try to find ways to help small businesses in particular,” Hulsey told News Channel 11 Friday night after returning home from Nashville.

He said the two sales tax holidays will be the final weekend of July and the first weekend of August.

The first sales tax holiday at the end of July will exempt purchases on school supplies and clothing up to $200. Computers and other tech purchases will be tax-exempt up to $3,000.

The first weekend in August, the sales tax holiday will apply to restaurant food and drinks.

“With what we’ve come through and the amount of small businesses that are hurting and out of business now, I think it’s hugely important that we do what we can to help them get their feet back under them,” Hulsey said.

Hulsey said a house effort to get a sale tax holiday weekend applying to car purchases was stripped from the final deal by the Tennessee Senate because of concerns about the loss of state revenue.

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