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Opinion: Enjoy Tax Holiday, Donate School Supplies

Good timing to help those in need.

— It is debatable whether recurring tax holidays for different seasonal needs are good policy. But since this weekend is Virginia’s tax holiday on school supplies and clothing, it makes sense to take advantage of the savings, and to spread the wealth around. The savings are more significant this year with the new sales tax increases in effect as of July 1.

This year the tax holiday is Aug. 2-4. During this three-day period, school supplies selling for $20 or less per item, and clothing and footwear selling for $100 or less per item will be exempt from Virginia sales tax. There are some items that do not qualify, for example digital school supplies. See http://www.tax.virginia.gov/ for more details.

When you are buying school supplies for your family, buy extra to donate to local families who are not able to afford to do the same.

Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing is holding its 5th Annual Backpack Drive to provide more than 250 backpacks to children in low to moderate income families to help them have a successful start to the new school year.

Donations needed: New backpacks in all sizes, spiral or composition notebooks, binders, loose-leaf and graph paper, sharpeners, #2 pencils, blue, black and red pens, pocket folders, crayons, colored pencils, markers, highlighters, glue sticks, school scissors, whiteout and erasers. Contact Shanette Yao at 703-851-3621 or at Liz McElwee with questions at 703-851-3635 or lmcelwee@apah.org. The drop off location is the APAH office at 2704 N. Pershing Drive, Arlington from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Arlington will partner with the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing to provide backpacks and school supplies to the children of their residents.

The church will collect the school items on Aug. 4 and Aug. 11. On Sunday, Aug. 11 the church will have a special Blessing of the Backpacks during the 10 a.m. Choral Eucharist. Any child who wants to bring their own backpack to be blessed, along with a donation to APAH, is welcome to do so. The church is located at 4000 Lorcom Lane, Arlington, 703-522-1600.