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Rep. Lavielle Urges Norwalk To Shop 'Tax Free'

State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143rd) reminds Wilton and Norwalk residents to take advantage of the upcoming "Tax Free Week," which runs from Sunday, Aug. 21, through Saturday, Aug. 27. During that week, Connecticut residents will not pay sales taxes on purchases of clothing and footwear under $300.

"While this week has always been a good opportunity to save on back-to-school clothes and other apparel items for the year, it is especially so now," said Lavielle. "Clothing and shoes worth $50 or less used to be exempt from sales taxes all year long, but under the new state budget, that exemption has disappeared. The same budget legislation has also raised the overall state sales tax on all goods from 6 percent to 6.35 percent.

"Connecticut taxpayers are just now taking the first hit on their paychecks with the increase in their payroll withholding, and those who pay quarterly estimated taxes will have to make their first adjustments in September," said Lavielle. "Because the income tax increases are retroactive to Jan. 1, 2011, people must not only pay taxes at a higher rate going forward, but they must also pay a little extra to cover the taxes they didn't pay before the increases went into effect. In other words, they are paying a year's worth of tax increases in five months.

"I hear every day from constituents that Connecticut's new taxes on income, sales and services have added to their already serious concerns about covering their household expenses. Shopping for essentials during tax-free week can help. Retail businesses can also benefit from letting customers know about tax-free week, as shoppers may be more motivated than ever this year to take advantage of it.

"Although I voted against the budget that passed and in favor of the no-tax-increase budget proposed by House and Senate Republicans, I am pleased that we were able to work with the Democratic majority and the governor to preserve Tax Free Week for Connecticut taxpayers," Lavielle said. "In this highly unpredictable economy, and with Connecticut's newly enacted historic tax increase, every little bit of relief helps."

Tax Free Week was first enacted in 2000, and applies to most clothing and footwear purchases that are intended for everyday use. Goods not covered under the program include items that are solely intended for use in sporting activities and accessories such as jewelry, watches, handbags and wallets. By law, Tax Free Week runs from the third Sunday in August to the following Saturday.

Information on Tax Free Week is available on the Department of Revenue Services website .

Do you plan to shop more, less or about the same during Tax Free Week later this month? Leave a comment below. Find TheDailyWilton.com on Facebook and like us.

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