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No Sales Tax on Back-to-School Supplies, More This Weekend in Virginia

A three-day sales tax holiday begins Friday in Virginia, giving customers a break on back-to-school supplies and other qualifying items.

From 12:01 a.m. Friday through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, the sales tax exemption will be in effect for school supplies, clothing, footwear, hurricane and emergency preparedness items, and Energy Star and WaterSense products. According to the Virginia Department of Taxation, that includes the following items:

  • School supplies, clothing and footwear 
    • Qualified school supplies — $20 or less per item
    • Qualified clothing and footwear — $100 or less per item
  • Hurricane and emergency preparedness products  
    • Portable generators — $1,000 or less per item
    • Gas-powered chainsaws — $350 or less per item
    • Chainsaw accessories — $60 or less per item
    • Other specified hurricane preparedness items — $60 or less per item
  • Energy Star and WaterSense​ products 
    • Qualifying Energy Star or WaterSense products purchased for noncommercial home or personal use — $2,500 or less per item

Before 2015, the three categories of items were available free of sales taxes on three separate weekends throughout the year.

Under current law, the sales tax rate is 5.3 percent — 4.3 percent for the state sales and use tax and 1 percent for the local option sales and use tax. In the Northern Virginia region, there is an additional 0.7 percent state tax for transportation.

For more details and a more extensive list of what items qualify for the tax exemption, check the Department of Taxation’s guidelines.

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Prepare for Hurricane Season and Save Starting Monday

Sales Tax Holiday/VA Dept. of Taxation

Stocking up for summer stuff? Think about buying some supplies to get your through the 2015 hurricane season, which begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30.

Though hurricanes don’t typically make landfall in Fairfax County, the effects of high winds and flooding can affect homes, roads and property here. To help prepare Virginia, will hold its Hurricane and Emergency Preparedness Equipment Sales Tax Holiday May 25-31.

Items such as batteries, generators up to $1,000, chainsaws up to $340, smoke detectors, first-aid kits, flashlights and more will be tax-free. See entire list of tax-exempt items from the Virginia Department of Taxation.

The hurricane preparedness sales tax holiday is part of the statewide Hurricane and Flooding Preparedness Week, May 24-30, that coincides with National Hurricane Preparedness Week sponsored by the National Weather Service.

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