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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Taking Advantage of Sales Tax Holidays for Organizing, Moving and Office Supplies

If you are in need of organizing, moving, or office supplies, this is a great time to take advantage of back-to-school tax holidays. Here are excerpts from an article by John Stevens, listing numerous states and their tax savings: 

"Several states have instituted sales tax holidays this August, to give families a break while shopping for school supplies and to stimulate local economies. Many retail stores are offering special deals to coincide with tax-free days. 

Although the tax holidays are intended for back to school shoppers, many packing and organizing supplies, such as strapping tape and file folders, will be tax-free as well. People who are thinking of moving their files into storage, or decluttering a home in preparation for putting it on the market, may want to take advantage of the August tax-free holidays.

The states that will have tax holidays include:

  • Connecticut, which offers a holiday next weekend, from Aug. 15-21.
  • Florida, which is offering a holiday from its six percent sales tax next weekend (from Aug. 13-15). Florida’s tax holiday will cover clothing and accessories under $50 and school supplies that sell for $10 or less.
  • Illinois, which is waiving its five percent sales tax on school supplies and most clothing (under $100) for ten days (through August 15). Although Illinois is waiving its state sales tax, it will still collect a 1.25 percent tax which goes to counties and towns, as well as any local city taxes that may apply. The event is Illinois’ first ever tax holiday, and is being offered even though the state has a record-breaking $13 billion budget deficit.
  • Maryland's tax holiday runs until next Saturday (8/14). The holiday will apply to clothes and shoes under $100, which in Maryland is a six percent discount.
  • Massachusetts, which will have its tax holiday next weekend, August 14 and 15. The holiday will save shoppers a 6.25 percent sales tax. Last year, Massachusetts skipped its tax holiday because of state budget problems.
  • Texas, which is offering a sales tax holiday from August 20-22. Texas’ holiday will apply to most clothing and shoes under $100, backpacks under $100, and school supplies under $100.
The state of Georgia, however, dropped its tax holiday this year. State lawmakers said that they could not afford the loss of $12 million in taxes at a time when Georgia is running a $2 billion deficit. Washington D.C. shoppers will not get a sales tax holiday either, because local officials felt the holiday was costing the district too much money (about $1.3 million).

Most states offer a tax holiday to make it easier for families to buy school supplies. Some states, however, drop taxes to make it easier for families to prepare for hurricanes or other disasters, to make it easier to buy energy-efficient appliances, or even to buy firearms.

Researchers say that the tax holidays do little to stimulate the economy, since most consumers are buying items that they would have had to buy anyway, but are delaying the purchases to coincide with the tax holidays."

More on saving:

No Cost Organizing: Drawer Dividers

Coupon Sources

Organizing Back to School Shopping