Monday, August 2, 2010

Ready your wallets: Here comes the tax-free weekend

Posted By on Mon, Aug 2, 2010 at 9:05 AM

It's the weekend all you shoppers save for; this upcoming weekend is the state's famous tax-free weekend for all things education related — oh, and computers. And new kicks.

Click here for the finer details, from the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

And here's the spin:

Last year, North Carolina forfeited an estimated $12.3 million in sales tax revenue during the state's three-day back-to-school tax-free weekend.

This year, during the holiday that begins Friday, it is expected to give up even more.

Still, state legislators say that revoking the popular shopping weekend was never much of an option - despite the $800 million deficit facing lawmakers this year. That's not to say that the legislature didn't look at repealing the mandatory tax break on school supplies, clothes, sports gear and computers.

Such a move would not be unprecedented. Both Georgia and the District of Columbia have repealed their tax-free holidays to save money.

But in North Carolina, the tax holiday's popularity with shoppers and retailers made legislators hesitate to call off the tax-free weekend.

"Yes, it was discussed and it was discussed very honestly, but it was a relatively brief discussion," said Rep. Pryor Gibson, a Democrat from Wadesboro, the House finance committee co-chairman. "A lot of the debates we have over cuts or anything like that get strung out. But ... there was pretty strong unanimity that if you're going to provide tax relief for families, this was as good a place as you could get."

Read the rest of this News and Observer article, by Sue Stock, here.

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