Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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August 3, 2012

Sales Tax Holiday

— — Good news for area families looking for clothing and other supplies needed to send their children back to school. Virginia’s seventh back-to-school Sales Tax Holiday begins today and continues through Sunday.

During the three-day event, most school supplies costing $20 or less each and clothing items and footwear priced at $100 or less each will be exempt from Virginia’s 5 percent state and local sales tax. The list of tax-exempt items is the same as in past years and includes such products as pens, pencils, loose-leaf ruled notebook paper, scissors, binders, backpacks, construction paper, sneakers, dresses, jeans and T-shirts, according to Gov. Bob McDonnell.

As long as each item purchased qualifies for the exemption, there is no limit on the number of items individuals can purchase. Retailers may also choose during the three-day period to save taxpayers even more by absorbing the sales tax, or paying it themselves, on items that are not eligible for exemption. The retailers must then pay the sales tax themselves on such sales.

“Of the Commonwealth’s three sales tax holidays, this is the most popular because it helps parents around the state save money while purchasing essential school supplies, clothing and shoes to help their children have a successful year at school,” McDonnell said. “But it’s also important to remember that you don’t have to be going back to school to take advantage of these savings. Who doesn’t want to save money on office supplies and summer clothes?”

All area families should take advantage of the sales tax holiday. It’s a tremendous boon not only to area residents, but also Virginia-side retailers who will see a large influx of business this weekend. In the Bluefield, Va., area, many of those families taking advantage of the sales tax holiday will come from neighboring West Virginia.

The return of Virginia’s Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday is welcomed, and couldn’t come at a better time for families across the region. The economy is still struggling. Gas prices are on the rise again. And local families may need a little extra help getting their children ready for school.

Area residents are urged to take advantage of the tax-free holiday — even if you don’t have children and even if you don’t live in Virginia. Now is still the time to buy clothing, office supplies and other items tax free. By getting out and shopping, you will also be helping to boost the local economy. It’s a win-win for all.

Get out and shop this weekend. Help get your kids ready for school with tax-free savings. If you live in West Virginia, don’t fret. You can still cross the state line and join in on the tax-free savings.

In fact, families living in the Mountain State have little choice otherwise. Because until lawmakers in West Virginia get their act together and schedule another back-to-school sales tax holiday for the Mountain State, West Virginia’s loss will continue to be Virginia’s gain.

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