Sales Tax Holidays 2016: Find the Deals in Your State
As the beginning of the new school year approaches, an increasingly popular annual event will soon arrive in a number of states around the country – tax-free shopping.
From Alabama and Arkansas to Ohio and Tennessee, sales tax holidays – normally 1 to 3 days – give shoppers the opportunity to buy school supplies at a discount – thanks to a temporary suspension of the state sales tax. See the list of tax holidays by state in the infographic by TaxJar below.
Sales tax holidays first appeared in 1980 in Ohio and Michigan as an incentive for car buyers. In 1997, state officials in New York approved a sales tax holiday for clothing. The goal was to encourage residents to buy New York products and not go to nearby states, such as New Jersey, where the state sales tax was lower.
According to the Federation of Tax Administrators, 17 states have or will have sales tax holidays in 2016. Some states will have two or three separate holidays during the year. Not all target school supplies. Sales tax holidays also promote hurricane preparedness supplies, hunting products and Energy Star items.
In Georgia, for example, a sales tax holiday for clothing, computers and school supplies is scheduled for July 30 and 31. A second tax holiday for energy or water-efficient products will be held Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. Shoppers save the state sales tax of 4 percent during those events.
If you live in Massachusetts — sorry. The state legislature canceled the 2016 sales tax holiday after tax revenues fell short.