Tax-Free Weekend for 11 States in August Cheers Shoppers

Thursday, 18 Jul 2013 08:50 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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A sales tax-free weekend will take effect in 11 states in August, and people can purchase anything from clothes to electronics without having to pay a state sales tax and in some cases local taxes.

States taking part in the tax-free holiday Aug. 2 to Aug. 4 include Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, according to the Federation of Tax Administrators.

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Four other states – Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, and Texas – will hold their tax-free weekend in late August.

While some states hold tax holidays throughout the year, this period is popular because many parents are shopping for back-to-school items for their children. The tax-free holiday will also be a break for small business owners.

According to the South Carolina Department of Revenue, consumers are estimated to save $3 million collectively over the weekend.

Local South Carolina station WCIV-TV reported that clothing, shoes, school supplies, book bags, computers, printers, bedspreads, and linens are among the items that won't be taxed.

Even tablets will be tax-exempt, provided they don't have capability to make phone calls like Samsung's Galaxy Tab 3.

The following items will not be tax-exempt over the weekend: jewelry, cosmetics, eyewear, furniture, cell phones, and items placed on layaway.

Originally set for Aug. 16-18, Texas' tax-free holiday will be Aug. 9-11, the Houston Chronicle reported, and customers can save $8 dollars on every $100 spent on items like clothing, footwear, school supplies, and backpacks,

While tax-free holidays are exciting for many, some argue that they distract lawmakers from working towards permanent tax reduction.

Joseph Henchman of the Tax Foundation complained last year that officials should be working on a lasting solution.

"Sales tax holidays introduce unjustifiable government distortions into the economy without providing any significant boost to the economy," Henchman wrote.

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Related stories:

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