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Virginia’s annual back-to-school sales tax holiday has been reimagined and expanded to apply to more items than ever.
Prior to 2015, Virginia observed three separate tax holidays: hurricane and emergency preparedness in May, back-to school in August and energy efficiency in October.
During the 2015 session of the General Assembly the holidays were officially combined into a single event to take place for three days in August and to include all the items previously represented.
The new sales tax holiday, which will take place this Friday through Sunday, applies to all businesses throughout the state selling qualifying items.
Back-to-school supplies that will be tax exempt include materials that cost $20 or less. Students will have the opportunity to stock up on paper, pens and pencils, binders, scissors and the like.
Clothing that costs less than $100 per item (or pair, in the case of shoes) will also be tax-exempt.
Emergency preparedness items including batteries, flashlights, cell phone chargers, first-aid kits and bottled water will be tax exempt so long as each unit normally sells for $60 or less. Portable generators costing $1,000 or less will also be tax exempt.
Finally, Energy Star and WaterSense labeled appliances costing $2,500 or less will be tax exempt. This will include dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerators, sink faucets, showerheads, toilets and more.
Shoppers can also expect many retailers to offer sales on items outside of those included in the tax holiday in order to attract more customers to their stores.
“This is a great opportunity for families as they get ready to send their children back to school, stock up on basic emergency supplies, or simply want to save money now and for years to come by replacing electricity- and water-hogging appliances with energy-efficient models,” said Gov. Terry McAuliffe in a recent news release. “The holiday is also a great chance to boost Virginia businesses.”