Darien Businesses Pull Out All The Stops For Tax-Free Shopping Week

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Members of the Darien Chamber of Commerce gather outside Helen Ainson to celebrate the upcoming sales tax-free shopping week, which begins Aug. 17.
Members of the Darien Chamber of Commerce gather outside Helen Ainson to celebrate the upcoming sales tax-free shopping week, which begins Aug. 17. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue

DARIEN, Conn. -- Shoppers in Darien and beyond can look forward to a week of shopping without sales tax on certain items later this month.

For one week, shoppers in Connecticut will not have to pay sales tax on clothing and footwear items that cost less than $300. The annual sales tax-free shopping week begins Sunday, Aug. 17 and lasts through Saturday, Aug. 23.

Members of the Darien Chamber of Commerce celebrated the sales tax holiday, saying that it will help local businesses.

"It's a wonderful way to promote retail offerings here in Darien," said Susan Cator, executive director of the Darien Chamber of Commerce. In addition to helping local business, the event also helps shoppers, she said.

"The money they're saving from sales tax can go right back to extending their purchasing power. The school year in Darien starts Aug. 25, so it's a great way for families coming back from vacation to get focused on their back-to-school purchases and save some money," Cator said. "It's also a nice time for parents to purchase something for themselves for their fall wardrobe."

If a customer purchases an item costing more than $300 but has a coupon or takes advantage of a sale that brings the price down to less than $300, then that item will not be subject to sales tax. Clothing worn for athletic purposes, as well as jewelry, handbags and other accessories, do not qualify for the sales tax exemption.

"This sales tax-free week comes at the right time for small businesses and also for consumers. Many parents are ready for back-to-school shopping, and this is is also a slow time for retailers, so it's a win-win," said state Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk, Darien). Many businesses also offer additional sales during the week, giving shoppers the opportunity to save even more money, he added.

The week is estimated to cost the state between $3.5 million and $6 million in lost revenue, Duff said. However, he said the decrease in revenue for the state is worth the opportunity to help businesses and shoppers support their local economy.

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