Alexandria A sharp new wardrobe, a perfect notebook, and a new school year go hand in hand. Back-to-school shopping is a yearly tradition for students and parents, and this weekend marks the seventh year of Virginia’s school supply tax holiday.
"This is by far the oldest tax holiday, anyone can participate."
— Joel Davison, spokesman for Virginia Department of Taxation
From Aug. 3-5, back-to-school shoppers can purchase select items tax-free and save 5 percent off their expenses. Such items include index cards, notebooks, binders and backpacks. Art supplies will also be included, such as paints, brushes, musical instruments and accessories. Clothing, as well as shoes, is also included among tax-free items.
"This is by far the oldest tax holiday; anyone can participate," said Joel Davison, a spokesman for the Virginia Department of Taxation. "The General Assembly looked at this as a way to help consumers, it’s also a boom for the business community."
Tax-free shopping helps consumers and business alike. While customers save off their total purchases, businesses can expect to see an increase in foot traffic and total sales.
"We are busy all the time; back-to-school weekends are always busy," said Yaya Alvir, shift manager at the CVS Pharmacy on Monroe Ave in Del Ray. "Sometimes we have additional sales on school supplies."
What’s Tax Free?
Before making a school shopping trip, take time to view what schools recommend for parents and students at: acps.k12.va.us. For a complete list of eligible items under the tax holiday, including clothing, visit: tax.virginia.gov.
Although there is a wide swath of items on sale during the tax holiday, tax-free shoppers should be aware of what is and is not eligible. The complete list of items can be found at the Viginia Department of Taxation website. Holiday shoppers should also make sure to check what their schools recommend.
"As far as what student needs, parents should visit the school website and see what is recommend. There is a wealth of information for how parents decide how they want to spend their resources," said Kelly Alexander, a spokesperson for Alexandria City Public Schools. "The tax holiday is a nice thing to have."