Unusual Items Included in Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday

By: Val Thompson Email
By: Val Thompson Email

August 2, 2013

Virginia's annual back-to-school sales tax holiday has begun. It lasts from Friday, Aug. 2 to Sunday, Aug. 4.

Brenda Shifflett was at JCPenney in Charlottesville Friday afternoon getting her grandkids ready to go back to school in Greene County.

"When you've got six grandkids to buy for, sales tax means a lot," Shifflett said.

This weekend also means a lot to Abhi Thakar, a JCPenney employee in charge of merchandise.

"I am so excited," Thakar said. He was slated to work 15 hours on Friday, as the back-to-school rush enters its busiest phase.

"Long hours, early openings, late closings," Thakar said.

He says several shoppers wait specifically for this weekend.

"Working families who work so hard, year round, they can take a break, help their families, help their kids get ready for back to school," Thakar said.

Kim Buttner is one of those families. She came to JCPenney to buy clothes for her two young daughters.

"I'm liking the sales tax holiday," Buttner said.

A total of 109 items are identified as exempt from the state's 5.3 percent sales tax. They include things like notebooks, crayons, pencils and kids' clothes. But the list also has things less identified with back-to-school, like lingerie, garter belts, robes and diapers.

Jewelry, however, is not tax exempt. Neither is most sports equipment.

The Newsplex also checked back at the Charlottesville Kmart, which was incorrectly charging sales tax on excluded items during the state's last sales tax holiday. This time, the store was compliant.

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