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School supply sales tax holidays starting in several states

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(NEW YORK) — Books, binders, pens and pencils are just a few of the necessities students across the country will need as the upcoming school year awaits. But a lengthy list of school supplies may have families sweating the price tags associated with these essential items.

Luckily, starting this week, several states that charge a state tax are taking part in sales tax holidays for school supplies with the new school year around the corner. A sales tax holiday, which often lasts for a weekend or longer, is a timeframe when states remove a sales tax on purchases for specific items up to a certain amount of money.

States offering the school supply sales tax holiday have different limits on tax-free spending. Florida and Tennessee are removing the sales tax on computer purchases up to $1,500, while Arkansas has no limit on tax-free spending for school supplies. New Jersey has no sales tax on school and art supplies, and sets a $3,000 maximum limit on tax-free computer purchases.

The tax holidays start in the South with Alabama’s holiday, which took place between July 21 and July 23. Florida’s break started Tuesday, July 24, while Mississippi and Tennessee follow suit, starting Friday, July 28.

Here is a complete list of states offering sales tax holidays this year:

  • Alabama (July 21-23)
  • Florida (July 24-August 6)
  • Mississippi (July 28-29)
  • Tennessee (July 28-30)
  • Iowa (August 4-5)
  • Ohio (August 4-6)
  • Oklahoma (August 4-6)
  • Missouri (August 4-6)
  • Arkansas (August 5-6)
  • West Virginia (August 4-7)
  • South Carolina (August 4-6)
  • New Mexico (August 4-6)
  • Texas (August 11-13)
  • Massachusetts (August 12-13)
  • Maryland (August 13-19)
  • Connecticut (August 20-26)
  • New Jersey (August 26-September 4)

Sales tax holidays vary by location and not every state has one enacted. It’s also important to remember that a sales tax holiday doesn’t necessarily mean there will be no tax added on a purchase, as cities and counties can still levy taxes in their jurisdictions.

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