Sales-tax holiday upcoming for back-to-school shoppers

Posted: July 24, 2013

The Winchester Star

Maddie Painter, 13, of Winchester finds a pair of pants she likes while shopping Tuesday at the Target in the Rutherford Crossing Shopping Center with her mom and sister. Virginia will offer tax-free shopping days for school clothing and supplies Aug. 2-4. (Photo by Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star)
Sharon Painter of Winchester shops for clothing with her daughter Katie, 11, at the Target in the Rutherford Crossing Shopping Center Tuesday. (Photo by Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star)

WINCHESTER — With local schools starting their new academic year next month, area stores are preparing for Virginia’s school supplies and clothing tax holiday.

The weekend-long event — scheduled this year from Aug. 2-4 — was enacted in 2006 and suspends the state’s regular 5.3 percent sales tax on certain back-to-school items.

Purchases of qualifying school supplies priced at $20 or less per item and purchases of certain clothing and footwear selling for $100 or less per item will be exempt from sales tax during the holiday, according to the state’s Department of Taxation.

“You certainly don’t have to be going back to school to take advantage of this. It’s available to anybody who shops,” Joel Davison, the department’s public relations manager, said Tuesday morning.

“It’s a good time to shop.”

John Allison, a logistics manager at the Target store located at 191 Market St. at Rutherford Crossing, said Tuesday that the store typically sets its sales goals higher than usual during tax holidays.

“We see a ton of sales on back-to-school [merchandise] ... Every department has something to do with back-to-school sales,” he said.

“We’re driving sales through temporary price cuts now.”

Wayne Beery, a manager at the Kmart at 1675 S. Pleasant Valley Road, said that the store doesn’t necessarily see a large influx of customers during the tax-free holiday for back-to-school items.

Davison said that the August sales tax holiday is the most universal of the three holidays the state offers. The remaining tax holiday this year is Oct. 11-14 and covers Energy Star and WaterSense qualified products. A May holiday covered hurricane and emergency preparedness equipment.

Additional information on the sales tax holiday — including a list of tax-exempt items — is available online at

— Contact Matt Armstrong at