What could happen if one doesn't shop during Maryland's Tax-Free Week, Aug. 12 through 18?
Well, according to one humorous, albeit far-fetched, scenario, one could end up in jail, losing one's date to one's roommate and resorting to cigarette smuggling in the process.
To encourage Maryland residents to participate in the state's Tax-Free Week, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot and his office created a humorous video in which an odd chain of events leads from a man not participating in Tax-Free Week to landing up in jail.
It's obviously not a very likely storyline, but it could generate a few laughs. Usually, when Franchot and his office make a video—like this one on generating consumer confidence—there isn't leeway to stray from a serious tone.
“I don’t always have the opportunity to show the lighter side of my agency, but when I do I embrace the chance, and, I’d personally like to thank Anne Arundel County Sheriff Ron Bateman and Montgomery County Delegate Craig Zucker for their cameos,” Franchot said in a statement.
“Videos like this one humorously encourage consumers to participate in Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week. Shoppers can save the 6 percent sales tax on all shoes and apparel priced up to $100 per item and that is no laughing matter. Retailers benefit from the program thanks to more foot traffic and the potential increase in sales," Franchot added.
Tax-Free Week comes at a good time of the year—in the midst of back-to-school shopping.
“Many families use this week as an opportunity to buy their back to school clothing, shoes and school uniforms. But the beauty of this week is you can use it to buy clothing for the whole family, not just the kids. Buy some new clothes for work or play and save money in the process,” Franchot added.
What won't qualify? Anything over $100, and accessories like ties, jewelry and handkerchiefs and protective items such as sports pads, according to the comptroller's statement. View a list of exempt and taxable items on the comptroller’s website, at www.marylandtaxes.com.
The tax-free week results from legislation passed in 2007, and occurs each year (future legislation to the contrary notwithstanding) from the second Sunday of August to the following Saturday.
Did the video make you laugh? Does it remind you of your own efforts to bring humor to the workplace? Or, is humor never appropriate for this sort of thing? Tell us in the comments.