School supply sales tax holiday starts Friday

By Laura Geller - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – The state is trying to give you a break on back-to-school shopping this weekend. The sales tax holiday is back and you'll be able to save on your school supply list.

For three days, starting this Friday, you won't have to pay any of the five percent sales tax on certain supplies and clothing as your kids get ready for the next school year. Retailers said they're expecting the holiday to keep the cash registers ringing.

Ten-year old Sydney Wagner has a long list of school supplies for the 5th grade. She'd like to get most of them in pink. Sydney and mom Melissa are getting a head start on their back to school shopping.

"Last summer when we went shopping, we didn't get everything we needed because we kind of waited 'til the last minute," Wagner explained.

If they wait until Friday, they could save more money. During the sales tax holiday, certain school supplies priced at $20 or less and some clothing and shoes for $100 or less will be tax free. Wagner said she may hold off buying her 8th grade son's supplies.

"It sort of adds up," she said. "You know, like I'm having to buy two dictionaries and two calculators."

Retailers have the option of not charging tax on items that aren't on the state's list. The store though, would basically be eating the money. They'd still have to pay taxes to the Commonwealth.

Stores like Target are hoping the holiday will bring in more customers.

"When you ring up a $200 order and all of it is tax free, it does save the guests a lot of money and it is really helpful," said Target manager Ashleigh Columbo.

Stores that don't sell school supplies are not obligated to participate. NBC12 checked in with Best Buy. Managers announced this weekend everything in the store, including lap tops and printers, will be tax free.

Retailers are given a very specific list from the state as to what is included. To prepare you for your shopping spree, we've posted the entire list HERE.

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