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Star Democrat: Comptroller visits Preppy Redneck, touts Tax-Free Week

ST. MICHAELS — In promoting Maryland Tax-Free Week, now until Saturday Aug. 18 at midnight, Comptroller of Maryland, Peter Franchot, made visits across the state at stores, including Preppy Redneck on Aug. 15 around 1 p.m. “We’re just delighted to be here,” Franchot said. “Any item of clothing or footwear that costs less than $100 is exempt from the 6 percent sales tax.”

The first $40 of any backpack or bookbag purchase is also tax-free.

Franchot said a lot more attention and support is due to this 6 percent sales tax savings week.

“Without you, we’d just be tumbleweeds running down the street,” Franchot said, laughing.

Franchot also mentioned the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent approval to the right to tax large online retailers, like Wayfair, starting Oct. 1.

The Preppy Redneck Shop Proprietor, KC Bridges, said the business is doing fantastic.

“We’re eight years in, and we are busier every year,” Bridges said. “We try to keep it interesting and unique so people can find things here that they don’t really find on the Web.”

“There’s nothing like going down the boardwalk in Ocean City though, and seeing someone with my T-shirt,” Bridges said, smiling.

“KC, we really do this on behalf of wonderful stores like yours, who are constantly under attack from internet behemoths,” Franchot said.

In promoting the week, Franchot said he also made visits to Bethesda, Baltimore City, and Frederick. “It’s kind of a thank you to small businesses,” Franchot said.

Bridges and Len Foxwell, the comptroller’s chief of staff, pointed out that inclement weather hindered business in the beginning of summer this year.

“This extra week incentivizes people to come to the stores and spend a little extra money,” Foxwell said. “It’s always opportune and particularly important this year.”

Franchot and Foxwell both made purchases from the store, and Bridges presented a small gift to Franchot.

The Maryland Retailer’s Association is holding a social media contest, awarding $2,500 and $1,000 scholarships to two winners to any Maryland college, university or trade school.

To enter, students are asked to take a Maryland-themed photo or video while shopping during tax-free week, write a catchy caption and post to any or all platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag, #shopMDtaxfree.

There are no essays or interviews involved.

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