HB 530 (Crossover): Sales and Use Tax – Tax–Free Period for Back–to–School Shopping – Sale of Backpacks and Bookbags

Position: SUPPORT

The Maryland Catholic Conference offers this testimony in SUPPORT of the House Bill 530.  The Conference represents the public-policy interests of the three (arch)dioceses serving Maryland, the Archdioceses of Baltimore and Washington and the Diocese of Wilmington, which together encompass over one million Marylanders.

We offer our support for House Bill 530, which would expand current law to include backpacks and bookbags costing $100 or less to the items that are currently exempt during the State’s annual sales tax-free period.  This tax-free time runs from the second Sunday in August through the following Saturday.

The proposed amendment to the current sales tax-free period makes practical sense for Maryland families.  Backpacks and bookbags are an integral and functional part of every school day and families should enjoy the same sales tax relief on those items during the State’s tax free period as they would when purchasing new school clothes.

Additionally, as Maryland’s Catholic schools serve tens of thousands of lower and middle-income families, the Maryland Catholic Conference offers its support for House Bill 530 as a means of assisting those families.  We also support this bill because it would encourage Maryland shoppers to remain in-state rather than traveling to states that offer such tax-free incentives on the aforementioned items.  We urge your support and favorable report for House Bill 530.