December 6, 2023

Thanks partly to funds amendments championed by Democrats within the Common Meeting, Virginians can store for sure objects sale tax-free this weekend (Oct. 20-22).

Virginians are used to seeing this gross sales tax vacation in August of every yr, however a forgetful legislature and six additional months of negotiations over the state funds resulted in a lapse of those three days of gross sales tax-free purchasing earlier this yr.

This particular financial savings alternative will give patrons an opportunity to avoid wasting on the whole lot from college provides to emergency preparedness tools when bought this Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, Oct. 20-22.

The financial savings lengthen past in-store purchases to additionally embody choose purchases made on-line, by mail order, and by phone.

Qualifying Virginia gross sales tax vacation objects embody:

  • College provides, clothes, and footwear 
  • Hurricane and emergency preparedness merchandise  
  • Power Star™ and WaterSense™ merchandise 

For a extra detailed record of eligible college and emergency provides, click on right here.

What’s Up for Grabs? 

Whereas the record of qualifying objects is substantial, there are a couple of restrictions. 

For college provides, qualifying objects should price lower than $20 per merchandise. Meaning you’ll be able to refill on binders, notebooks, pencils, crayons, and different often-used classroom provides. Nonetheless, the laptop computer you’ve been eyeing gained’t be on the tax-free record (which you’ll find right here).

So far as clothes goes, there’s a per-item worth restrict of $100. Winter coats, a heat pair of trainers, some new socks, and seasonal put on typically falls inside that worth vary. However you may wish to put up these Yeezy Boosts again on the shelf when you’re hoping to attain a tax-free deal.

Some coated hurricane and emergency preparedness objects embody moveable turbines that price $1,000 or much less, gas-powered chain saws that price $350 or much less, or different objects together with batteries, flashlights, two-way radios, bottled water, and first assist kits that price $60 or much less.

Breaking Down the Numbers

The Commonwealth Institute’s tax coverage analyst, Megan Davis, helped break down the financial savings. She famous that gross sales tax can vary wherever from 5.3% to 7% on a product, relying on locality. 

Given the per-item worth limits on sure merchandise, Virginians may save between $1.06 and $1.40 on a faculty provide merchandise or between $5.30 and $7 for a bit of clothes or footwear. Whereas it may not appear to be a lot per merchandise, the financial savings add up rapidly. For a household spending $600 per little one (the approximate nationwide common quantity spent at back-to-school time) on qualifying objects, that’s between $31.80 and $42 in financial savings per scholar.

“This could possibly be an essential weekend for households with low incomes to avoid wasting cash, but analysis reveals that wealthier households have extra spending flexibility and are higher capable of time their spending to benefit from gross sales tax holidays, in addition to have extra disposable earnings to make use of when gross sales tax holidays arrive,” Davis stated. “In the long run, it is a momentary and untargeted measure. The gross sales tax vacation lasts simply three days, and households need to make ends meet the opposite 362 simply the identical. Different tax coverage choices, like increasing and bettering the state Earned Earnings Tax Credit score and establishing a Commonwealth Children Credit score, would offer households who want it with extra significant help.”

Wait, Isn’t This Normally in August?

In previous years, Virginia’s gross sales tax vacation occurred across the similar time college began. This yr differed, leaving mother and father and lawmakers scrambling for options. The October outcome? Effectively, it’s higher late than by no means. 

“Whereas October is mid-hurricane season and seasonal adjustments might imply households want new heat clothes, plenty of the timing of that is because of the funds compromise that was lately handed. The vacation lapsed this summer season, and the compromise was not handed till September, previous when the vacation normally is,” Davis stated. “Whereas the weekend offers a couple of days of financial savings for households, extra focused tax insurance policies will help get households the help they want.”

  • Carolyn Fiddler

    Carolyn Fiddler

    Carolyn Fiddler is Dogwood’s chief political correspondent. She can also be the nation’s foremost professional in state politics with virtually twenty years of expertise in statehouse machinations, and her comedian guide assortment might be greater than yours.

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  • Amie Knowles

    Amie Knowles

    Amie is Dogwood’s group editor. She has been in journalism for a number of years, successful a number of awards from the Virginia Press Affiliation for information and options content material. A lifelong Virginia resident, her work has appeared within the Martinsville Bulletin, Danville Register & Bee and NWNC Journal.