School supplies qualify Sales tax holiday this weekend
Houston County Courier
By Lynda Jones
The cost of sending the kids back to school leads to the recrunching of many a house-hold budget, even in good economic times. This year, American house-hold belts are even tighter. Individually, school supplies are not big sticker items, but collectively, their cost becomes significant to a household budget. Additionally, school clothes must be purchased. Children outgrow clothes over the summer. Skirts and shorts that complied with school dress codes in May often are too short now. Parents who haven’t already purchased school supplies and clothing get a break from state and local sales taxes this weekend. The state’s annual tax holiday is Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 20-22. Lay-away plans are allowed to help consumers take advantage of the sales tax holiday. The list of qualifying items is expanded this year. In addition to clothes, footwear and some backpacks, most school supplies priced at less than $100 are now on the list of exempt items, if they are purchased for use by a student in an elementary or secondary school. The list of qualifying school supplies (if priced less than $100) includes binders, book bags, calculators, cellophane tape, blackboard chalk, compasses, composition books, crayons, erasers, folders (expandable, pocket, plastic and manila), glue, paste and paste sticks, highlighters, index cards, index card boxes, legal pads and lunch boxes. Other qualifying school supplies include markers, notebooks, paper (loose leaf ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board and construction paper), pencil boxes and other school supply boxes, pencil sharpeners, pencils, pens, protractors, rulers, scissors and writing tablets. Tax-free clothing during this weekend includes baby clothes, backpacks for use by elementary and secondary students, belts with attached buckles, boots (cowboy, hiking), diapers (adult and baby), dresses, gym suits and uniforms, jeans, shirts, shoes, socks and shorts. Also included are caps/hats (baseball, fishing, golf, knitted), coats and wraps, hooded shirts and hooded sweatshirts, jackets, baseball and football jerseys, hosiery, jogging apparel and sweatshirts. Suits, slacks and jackets, swimsuits, underclothes and work clothes and uniforms are also tax-exempt this weekend.