Sales tax holiday begins Friday

Published 9:26 am Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Those looking to get a jump on shopping for back-to-school items, there’s no better time than this coming weekend.

North Carolina sales tax will be waived from Friday, Aug. 6 through Sunday, Aug. 8 in an effort to better help consumers afford back-to-school items for their children.

Billed as a “Tax Free Holiday,” shoppers this weekend will not have to pay the sales tax on clothing, school supplies and computers.

“This weekend’s sales tax holiday will help North Carolina families better prepare their children for the start of school so they’re able to enter the classroom ready to learn,” NC House Representative Michael Wray (D-Gaston) said. “Friday through Sunday will be a great opportunity for families to save some money on necessary back-to-school items while also supporting our local businesses.”

Wray’s close colleague in the State House, Representative Annie Mobley (D-Ahoskie), agreed.

“I encourage those looking to save some money in these tight economic times to take advantage of this tax-free weekend,” Mobley stressed. “This is a great time for families to prepare their children for the start of school. The weekend should also be welcomed by the merchants in my district. They should see a rise in the amount of business and I encourage my constituents to shop locally and support our businesses at home.”

The sales tax holiday was created by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2001 and went into effect on January 1, 2002. During the sales tax holiday, consumers will not pay sales tax on clothing, footwear, and school supplies of $100 or less per item; school instructional materials of $300 or less per item; sports and recreation equipment of $50 or less per item, computers of $3,500 or less per item; and computer supplies of $250 or less per item.

Clothing is defined as all human wearing apparel suitable for general use including coats, jackets, hats, hosiery, scarves and shoes.

Computer-related items free of sales tax include storage devices such as disks and CD’s as well as computer printer supplies such as paper and ink. The separate sale of a monitor, keyboard, mouse or speakers is subject to the applicable tax when the item is not sold in conjunction with a central processing unit.

School supplies exempt from sales tax include the following:


Blackboard chalk

Book bags


Cellophane tape

Clay and glazes


Composition books



Folders (expandable, pocket, plastic, and manila)

Glue, paste, and paste sticks


Index card boxes

Index cards

Legal pads

Lunch boxes



Paintbrushes for artwork

Paints (acrylic, tempora, and oil)

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

Pencil boxes and other school supply boxes

Pencil sharpeners






Sketch and drawing pads


Writing tablets

School instructional materials that are tax-free this weekend include reference books, reference maps and globes, textbooks and workbooks.

Sports and recreational equipment exempt from sales tax include:

Ballet and tap shoes

Cleated or spiked athletic shoes

Gloves (baseball, bowling, boxing, hockey, golf, and other sports)


Hand and elbow guards

Helmets (bicycle, skating, baseball, and other sports)

Life preservers and vests

Mouth guards

Roller and ice skates

Shin guards

Shoulder pads

Ski boots

Waders, wetsuits, and fins

Clothing accessories, jewelry, cosmetics, protective equipment, wallets, furniture, items used in a trade or business, and rentals are not covered by the exemption and will be subject to the applicable tax.