RICHMOND, Va. -- Admittedly, the question we brought to several kind shoppers in Carytown was a little opaque: do you know what holiday is coming up this weekend?
A couple folks guessed something, somehow related to Halloween, and someone else gave us a flat out no. The answer: the sales tax holiday weekend.
From Friday to Sunday, state and local taxes on many goods will be waived to help Virginia shoppers off set costs. The annual tax-free weekend usually happens in August and almost did not happen this year.
State lawmakers spent months negotiating a state budget deal that remained stalled until last month. The holiday was allowed to expire by accident, but in the budget deal agreed to and signed last month, the sales tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. Oct. 20 and runs until 11:59 p.m. Oct. 22.
Eligible items include the following, according the Virginia Department of Taxation:
- School supplies, clothing, and footwear
- Qualified school supplies - $20 or less per item
- Qualified clothing and footwear - $100 or less per item
- Hurricane and emergency preparedness products
- Portable generators - $1,000 or less per item
- Gas-powered chainsaws - $350 or less per item
- Chainsaw accessories - $60 or less per item
- Other specified hurricane preparedness items - $60 or less per item
- Energy Star™ and WaterSense™ products
- Qualifying Energy Star™ or WaterSense™ products purchased for noncommercial home or personal use - $2,500 or less per item
Whether or not you plan to take advantage of the weekend tax holiday, depends on your situation, of course.
"I think I’ve gone with my family," said Virginia Snider. "I do think it’s helpful. It’s nice to have discounts on what we need or what we want.”
"I have in the past. My daughter is up in graduate school in Philadelphia, so I don’t do it any more," said Allen Dance about the sales tax holiday. "It didn’t really matter much to me. It just reminded me that it’s time to go get the back to school supplies.”
"It’s great for families who can rack up purchases to save that kind of money. I think it’s really good for them; I approve of it 100%. I think it’s overplayed by retailers to play around the edges of it and loose fact of everything else we do to capitalize holidays," said Don Salle.
In a news release, Gov. Glenn Youngkin encouraged Virginians to take advantage of the savings.
"As Virginians continue to face inflation and high prices, Virginians will receive some needed tax relief this weekend. This sales tax holiday is an important measure to help Virginians keep more of their hard-earned money when purchasing essential school supplies, hurricane preparedness items, and clothing," Youngkin said.
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