Tax Free Weekend is Here

Story by Lindsey Chester. Photo by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC – This coming weekend consumers get a little break with North Carolina’s Tax Free Holiday. We have a daughter heading off to college, and have been waiting to purchase a few big items until now.

Cary Towne Center recently sent out some info about which items are tax free this weekend- as not all consumer products fall into this category.

What is Tax Free This Weekend

Beginning Friday August 3 through Sunday August 5, the following items will be tax exempt in North Carolina:

  • Clothing, Footwear and School Supplies of $100 or less per item
  • School Instructional Materials of $300 or less per item
  • Sports and Recreation Equipment of $50 or less per item
  • Computers of $3,500 or less per item
  • Computer Supplies of $250 or less per item

Save 6.75%

How much does that savings add up to? The combined NC and County sales tax rate in the Triangle (Durham, Wake, Johnston and Franklin counties) is currently 6.75%. That means on a $100 purchase, consumers will save $6.75.

Spending Up for 2012

The National Retail Federation reports that families with children in grades K-12  will spend $688.62 on their children in Fall 2012, up from $603.63 last year. Total spending is expected to reach $30.3 billion. It’s no surprise that the Tax Free Holiday falls in August to capture these Back To School purchases.

“When it comes to their children, there’s nothing more important to a parent than making sure their children have everything they need, even in a tough economy—and especially when it comes to back-to-school shopping,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Backpacks rip, pencils break, and children grow, there’s no way around it, but as they begin tackling their shopping lists, parents will make sure to spend smarter than they ever have before. We fully expect retailers to be aggressive with their promotions both in-store and online, keeping an eye on inventory levels as families look to spread out their shopping throughout the entire summer.”

College students leave for campuses across the country beginning next week. They have fewer, more costly items to purchase, with the focus on computer and dorm room furnishings.

NRF’s 2012 Back-to-College Survey conducted by BIGinsight found college students and their families will spend an average $907.22 on everything from dorm furniture and collegiate gear to school supplies and personal care items, up from $808.71 last year.

Total spending for back-to-college is expected to reach $53.5 billion. Our family plans to buy a printer, plus supplies, and a calculator among other typical school supplies.

Not Everything Tax Free

But remember everything is not Tax Free. That microwave my daughter needs, isn’t tax free, neither are the toiletries she needs for college. Watch for sales, avoid impulse buys and do some research in advance this weekend.

Have fun saving! Write a comment about how you plan to save this weekend!

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1 reply
  1. Robert Campbell
    Robert Campbell says:

    So, I have to ask — does this make a really big difference to anyone? I mean, do you really put off everything until this time to buy the school supplies? I don’t and wonder if others actually do. I’m always looking for deals when I need to get something (like a laptop for my college-bound boy — saved more than $100 last weekend on a good deal, much more than 6.75%).

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