Back to school shopping can put a dent in your wallet, that’s for sure. But in some states that pain is eased a bit by summer sales tax vacations. If you are lucky enough to live in a state that has one, do your shopping during the designated dates and you can skip sales taxes on clothing, shoes, school supplies, electronics and books. Some states have extended the savings to hurricane preparedness supplies, energy-efficient appliances and firearms.
The first sales tax holiday was in New York in January 1997, to boost sales during the after-holidays retail slump. Now seventeen states are offering sales tax holidays, though New York is no longer doing so.
The sales tax holiday is usually three days, from Friday through Sunday, during a major shopping period such as just before school starts. The holiday applies to selected items, such as clothing and school supplies, and is often restricted by price, for example, clothing up to $100.
If you want to take a vacation from sales tax this summer, consult the list below to see when one is offered in your state, and then head for the air-conditioned mall to beat the summer heat and take advantage of the savings.