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Consumers Can Catch a Break From Inflation During Tax-Free Weekends

Robin Hill-Gray - Author
By

Jul. 19 2022, Published 9:20 a.m. ET

Consumers are feeling the pressure amid rising inflation and high gas prices. To fight that, some states are offering shoppers weekends of tax-free shopping.

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Whereas residents of Alaska, Delaware, Montana, Oregon, and New Hampshire don't pay sales tax, residents of some other states can enjoy tax-free weekends. The rules vary state by state, with some offering more limited tax breaks—so limited, in fact, that some see them as gimmicks.

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Why does tax-free weekend exist?

According to GoBankingRates, Jared Walczak, VP of state projects with the Center for State Tax Policy at the Tax Foundation, said, "State tax holidays tend to be political gimmicks." He added that "states are sitting on surpluses at the same time many taxpayers are struggling under the burden of high inflation." While people can save money on tax-free weekends, Walczak believes they divert attention from permanent tax-relief measures.

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What states have tax-free weekends?

According to TaxAdmin, some tax-free weekends are as follows:

  • Arkansas: Two days, clothing and school supplies (up to $100), Aug. 6–7.
  • Connecticut: Seven days, clothing and footwear (up to $100), April 10–16, Aug. 21–27.
  • Illinois: Ten days, reduced rate of 1.25 percent on clothing and school supplies (on items up to $125), Aug. 5–14.
  • Iowa: Two days, clothing (up to $100), Aug. 5–6.
  • Maryland: Three days, Energy Star products, clothing, footwear (up to $100), Feb. 19–21, Aug. 14–20.
  • Massachusetts: Two days, all tangible personal property (up to $2,500), Aug. 13–14.
  • Mississippi: Two days, clothing and footwear (up to $100), July 29–30; three days, firearms, ammo, and hunting supplies, Aug. 26–28.
  • Nevada: Three days, purchases made by National Guard members, Oct. 28–30.
  • New Mexico: Three days, clothing (up to $100), computers/computer equipment (up to $1,000 and $500, respectively), school supplies (up to $30), Aug. 5–7.
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  • Ohio: Three days, clothing (up to $75), school supplies (up to $20), Aug. 5–7.
  • Oklahoma: Three days, clothing (up to $100), Aug. 5–7.
  • South Carolina: Three days, clothing, computers, school supplies (maximum cost not listed).
  • Virginia: Three days, clothing (up to $100), school items (up to $20), Energy Star products (up to $2,500), hurricane survival items (up to $60), generators (up to $1,000), Aug. 5–7.
  • West Virginia: Four days, clothing (up to $125), school items (up to $20), sports equipment (up to $150), computers and tablets (up to $500), Aug. 5–8.
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Florida, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas have tax-free weekends, too

For these states there are numerous tax-free dates with various exceptions and limits. Florida has extended periods for tax-free spending, depending on the products. For 93 days, children's books are considered tax-free, with no maximum amount set, from May 14 to Aug. 14. Florida also has 14 days of tax-free spending for disaster survival items costing $20 up to $1,000, from May 28 to June 10.

Other Florida tax-free periods:

  • Eight days for outdoor-related activities ($25–$150), July 1–7.
  • One year for diapers and children's clothes, no maximum amount, from July 1 to June 30, 2023.
  • One year for Energy Star products ($1,500–$3,000), from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023.
  • Two years for hurricane-proof doors and windows, no maximum amount, from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2024.
  • 14 days for school supplies ($50), clothing ($100), computers ($1,500), July 25–Aug. 7.
  • Seven days for working gloves ($25), bags and flashlights ($50), test equipment ($100), and toolboxes ($75), Sept. 3–9.
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From April 19 to 25, Missouri has seven tax-free shopping days for Energy Star products up to $1,500. The state also has three tax-free days from Aug. 5 to 7 for clothing up to $100, computers up to $1,500, and school items up to $50.

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Tennessee is offering a year of tax-free shopping for gun safes and safety devices, with no maximum amount, from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023. Additionally, the state has three tax-free shopping days, from July 29 to 31, for clothing ($100), school items ($100), and computers $1,500).

Last but not least, Texas's tax-free dates are as follows:

  • Three days for generators ($3,000), storm items ($300), and survival preparedness ($75), April 23–25.
  • Three days for Energy Star items with no maximum, air conditioners ($6,000), May 28–30.
  • Three days for clothing ($100), school items ($20), Energy Star items ($2,500), hurricane survival ($60), and generators ($1,000), Aug. 5–7.
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