The construction intially scheduled for Interstate 20 in Rockdale and Newton counties will pause this weekend in order to make way for traffic on the tax-free weekend. This is one of several projects being suspended across the state this weekend for the tax holiday.
The Georgia Department of Transportation plans to suspend construction lane closures on all interstates and major state highways from 8 a.m. Friday through 10 p.m. Saturday. That applies everywhere "within five miles of a shopping mall or major shopping district." Rockdale's stretch of I-20 is just beyond five miles from Mall at Stonecrest in Lithonia.
Previously, two eastbound outside (right) lanes on a three-mile stretch of Interstate 20 in Rockdale and Newton counties between Conyers and Covington was going to be closed continuously from 9 p.m., Friday, until 5 a.m., Monday, weather permitting, for resurfacing. However, GDOT announced Friday that the construction was canceled for this weekend.
The project's total cost is $11.5 million, and should be completed by the end of the year with crews working only on weekends and at night.
The tax-free "weekend" technically begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday and ends at midnight Saturday. Some items - often strange items - will be excluded from the 4 percent state sales taxes, plus all local sales taxes. The Georgia Retail Association estimates that families with children in grades K-12 will spend about $670 this year on clothes, shoes, electronics and school supplies.
In general, items that qualify for tax-free status include clothing and shoes that cost less than $100; computers; and crayons, pencils and other common school supplies.
The exempt list includes some head-scratchers: "antique" clothing, baby clothes, suspenders, capes, costumes (except masks sold separately), adult diapers, garters, leg warmers, bow ties, ice skates, "vests," computers but not cell phones, scanners but not surge protectors, web cameras but not TVs, book bags but not briefcases, highlighters but not medical supplies, scissors, pencil sharpeners, and girdles.
Items that will still be taxed this weekend include: baby bibs, corsages, cosmetics, cuff links, diaper bags, sunglasses (non-prescription), fanny packs, hair bows, handbags, hard hats, jewelry, life jackets, swimming goggles, sewing materials, umbrellas, wallets, watches, wigs, batteries, CDs and DVDs, copy machines, digital cameras, game controllers, MP3 players, projectors, and envelopes.
For more information on Georgia's tax-free holiday, visit etax.dor.ga.gov online.