Believe it or not, for many Sampsonians, it almost time to start thinking about returning to school, and that means students and their parents must start thinking about making those back-to-school purchases in preparation for this year’s school start. Fortunately for many, North Carolina is again offering its annual back-to-school tax free weekend, with qualifying items sold between Friday, Aug. 3 at 12:01 a.m. and Sunday, Aug. 5 at 11:59 p.m. being purchased free of a sales tax.
Local merchants are gearing up for the tax free holiday, and some are even offering special deals for the event.
Walmart is preparing for the weekend by providing copies of supply lists from the various schools that inform parents and students what they will need as far as school supplies for the fall. Assistant manager Josh Smith noted that their back-to-school event is already in swing, and will only grow once the tax free weekend begins next Friday at midnight.
“We are also providing the Build a BackPack program this year. This is where you can purchase a backpack and/or supplies for backpacks to be donated for students in need,” explained Smith. Since
Belk of Clinton is really ready for the big weekend, according to store manager Kim White.
“We are planning several different activities for the Tax Free Holiday. We are providing coupons all three days and special coupons on Saturday with lots of items specially priced for the Door Buster Back-to-School sale that weekend. We are also offering special incentives to our Belk Card holders. We will a lot of items that will be reduced for the weekend.”
Belk will extend its hours as follows: Friday and Saturday, Aug. 3-4, from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 5, from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.
Burke’s Outlet, also in Sampspon Crossing, will observe the holiday by extending its hours and offering the store’s usual low prices, shared store manager John Stroud.
“We already have low prices and many clearance items to offer, and for those that are 49 years of age and younger, on Friday, (as on every Friday), these customers will still receive the 15 percent discount in addition to the tax free weekend. This discount is available to those 50 and above on Mondays so they, unfortunately, will not be able to use their Burke’s One Card to get the discount on Friday,” said Stroud.
Burkes hours are: Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. and Sunday, 9 until 10 p.m.
Other businesses in Clinton will be offering tax free items that they provided but none contacted stated they were planning anything special for the tax holiday.
By law North Carolina authorizes a sales tax holiday. Sales and use taxes do not apply for some items while other items do not fall under the allowed items that are sold from Friday through Sunday. The items that are allowed as follows:
1. Clothing with a sales price of $100 or less per item. The law defines “clothing” as all human wearing apparel suitable for general use including coats, jackets, hats, hosiery, scarves, and shoes. The items listed below are included in the term and are therefore exempt from tax during the sales tax holiday period if the sales price of the item is $100 or less. This list is not all-inclusive. Aprons, household and shop; athletic supporters; baby receiving blankets; bandannas; bathing suits and caps; beach capes and coats; belts and suspenders; boots; overshoes; coats, jackets, capes, and wraps; costumes (does not include costume masks sold separately); diapers (children and adults, including disposables); earmuffs; gloves and mittens for general use; hats and caps; hosiery; scarves; formal wear (does not include rentals); garters and garter belts; girdles; leotards and tights; panty hose; socks; stockings and footlets; underwear; insoles for shoes; jogging suits; lab coats; neckties; rainwear; rubber pants; sandals; shoes and shoelaces; slippers; sneakers; steel-toed shoes; uniforms (athletic and nonathletic uniforms when purchased for nonbusiness use); wedding apparel (does not include rentals);
2. Sport or recreational equipment with a sales price of $50 or less per item. The law defines “sport or recreational equipment” as items designed for human use and worn in conjunction with an athletic or recreational activity that are not suitable for general use. The items listed below are included in the term and are therefore exempt from tax during the holiday period if the sales price of the item is $50 or less. This list is not all-inclusive. Ballet and tap shoes; cleated or spiked athletic shoes; gloves (baseball, bowling, boxing, hockey, golf, and other sports); goggles; 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.
3. Computers, including tablet computers and netbooks, with a sales price of $3,500 or less per item. The law defines a computer as an electronic device that accepts information in digital or similar form and manipulates it for a result based on a sequence of instructions. For purposes of the exemption during the sales tax holiday, a computer includes a central processing unit, monitor, key, keyal processing unit, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers since these items are deemed to be necessary in the operation of the computer. 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. Peripherals are not considered part of a computer and are subject to the applicable tax notwithstanding that they may be sold with the computer as a package. Peripherals must be separately stated on the invoice and the appropriate tax charged on those items. An eReader, is not a computer and is, therefore, taxable.
4. Computer supplies with a sales price of $250 or less per item. The law defines “computer supply” as an item commonly used by a student in a course of study in which a computer is used. The items listed below are included in the term and are therefore exempt from tax during the holiday period if the sales price of the item is $250 or less. This list is all-inclusive. Computer storage media, including diskettes and compact disks; handheld electronic schedulers, except devices that are cellular phones; personal digital assistants, except devices that are cellular phones; computer printers; printer supplies for computers, including printer paper and printer ink.
5. School supplies with a sales price of $100 or less per item. As defined by the law a “school supply” is an item commonly used by a student in a course of study; the term includes school art supplies and school instructional materials. The items listed below are included in the term and are therefore exempt from tax during the holiday period if the sales price of the item is $100 or less. This list is all-inclusive. Binders; blackboard chalk; book bags; calculators; cellophane tape; clay and glazes; compasses; composition books; crayons; erasers; folders (expandable, pocket, plastic, and manila); glue, paste, and paste sticks; highlighters; index card boxes; index cards; legal pads; lunch boxes; markers; notebooks; 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; pencils (includes pencil leads); pens (includes pen refills); protractors; rulers; scissors; sketch and drawing pads; watercolors; writing tablets.
6. School instructional materials with a sales price of $300 or less per item.As defined in the law, “school instructional material” is written material commonly used by a student in a course of study as a reference and to learn the subject being taught. The term is mutually exclusive of the terms “school supply” and “computer supply.” The items listed below are included in the term and are therefore exempt from tax during the holiday period if the sales price of the item is $300 or less per item. (Prior to the 2008 holiday, these items were categorized as “school supplies” and were exempt during the holiday period if the sales price of the item was $100 or less per item.) This list is all-inclusive. Reference books; reference maps and globes; textbooks and workbooks.
Items that do not qualify for the the sales tax exemption during the sales tax holiday includes the following: Clothing accessories or equipment; protective equipment; furniture; items for use in a trade or business; and rentals.