• 64°

Tax-Free weekend on tap

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday August 5 and lasting until 11:59 p.m. Sunday August 7, the state of North Carolina will be offering exemption of sales taxes on many back to school items in their program called &uot;Sales Tax Free Weekend&uot;.

The program comes just in time for parents to take advantage of it as students make their return to school in the coming weeks.

The items that receive the exemption are clothing, shoes and school supplies less than $1,000 per item and computers for personal use that are priced less than $3,500.

This is the fourth annual

&uot;Sales Tax Free Weekend&uot; for North Carolina as it has continued to be a success.

&uot;It’s great for our area because anybody struggling money-wise can really take advantage of it,&uot; Patrick Demonfonte of the Bertie County Chamber of Commerce said.

Shoppers this year will see a few changes to the program – primarily dealing with computer supplies.

Canned software, or software sold off-the-shelf, will be taxed this year as well as printers and printer supplies.

Computer parts such as the monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers and cables are not taxed when sold with a central processing unit, but are taxed when sold separately.

Shoppers will be able to add such items as blackboard chalk, cellophane tape, index card boxes, markers, pencil boxes, rulers and writing tablets to the approved list for exemption.

The list already includes over 30 different supplies from binders to workbooks that will not be taxed during the period.

&uot;It’s a good thing because there are so many children unable to get necessary supplies,&uot; Bill Stephens of the Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce said. &uot;I just wish they would have more of these kinds of days.&uot;

The program was enacted in 2001 and took effect in 2002 after the North Carolina General Assembly raised the state’s sales tax to 7 percent.

&uot;This program is beneficial to anybody willing to take advantage of it,&uot; Demonfonte said. &uot;We’re lucky to have it.&uot;

For more information on the sales tax holiday, go to:

http://www.dor.state.nc.us/taxes/sales/salestax_holiday.html

Items that qualify as &uot;school supplies&uot; for purposes of the sales tax holiday:

Binders

Books

Calculators

Cellophane Tape

Clay and glazes

Blackboard Chalk

Compasses

Composition Books

Crayons

Erasers

Folders (expandable, pocket, plastic and manila)

Glue, paste and paste sticks

Handheld electronic schedulers

Highlighters

Index cards

Index card boxes

Legal pads

Lunch boxes

Markers

Notebooks

Paper (loose leafed ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board and construction paper)

Paints (acrylic, tempora and oil)

Paintbrushes for artwork

Pencil boxes and other school supply boxes

Pencil sharpeners

Pencils

Pens

Protractors

Reference books

Reference maps and globes

Rulers

Scissors

Sketch and drawing pads

Textbooks

Watercolors

Workbooks

Writing tablets