Delegate encourages back-to-school shopping during tax holiday

Op-Ed by Ben Cline

I am writing to encourage Virginia taxpayers to take advantage of this year’s Back-To-School Sales Tax Holiday, which is scheduled from Friday, Aug. 3 through Sunday, Aug. 5, 2007.

During this three-day period, certain purchases will be exempt from the 5 percent state and local retail sales tax. The tax reduction will be applied to qualifying purchases of school supplies priced at $20 or less per item, and on articles of clothing and footwear costing $100 or less. It’s a great time to stock up on supplies for the upcoming school year.

The “holiday” was established by legislation that I sponsored last year along with former House Finance Chairman Harry Parrish. The Virginia Department of Taxation estimates that Virginia consumers saved approximately $3.6 million in retail sales tax during the 2006 holiday. It is anticipated that this year, taxpayers may save an estimated $3.8 million in retail sales tax.

The new law also allows retailers to advertise additional items as “tax-free” and absorb the sales tax themselves. This advertising practice will only be allowed during the tax holiday period. The back-to-school shopping season is generally the second biggest shopping season of the year.

On Aug. 3-5, 2007, the second annual Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday will benefit both Virginia families and Virginia’s small businesses. I am hopeful that many people will shop during the holiday in order to take advantage of this tax break and to ensure the school year starts on a positive note.

Ben Cline represents the 24th House District in the Virginia General Assembly.

The views expressed by op-ed writers do not necessarily reflect those of management of The Augusta Free Press.

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