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Back to School 2018: Sales Tax Holidays

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

It’s almost time for the kids to go back to school, and that means you’ve got to run out to buy all the school supplies they need to be prepared for the new year. (If you haven’t already received the school supply list from the district, here is a checklist by age, and here’s one by grade level, or feel free to use your Kinetic Internet to find a list particular to your children’s school or district.)

School supplies can cost as much as $1,489 per child, according to the 2017 Backpack Index, so it’s no surprise if you may want to cut some corners. No, we’re not talking about skipping some items on the supply list. We’re talking about sales tax holidays.

What Are Sales Tax Holidays?

A handful of states around the U.S. have sales tax holidays, and of those that do, many have days set aside for back-to-school shopping. Sales tax holidays are limited periods of times in which designated states waive or reduce their sales tax for a certain group of items.

When Is It, and What Can You Get?

Our Windstream team has put together this chart, based on information from the Sales Tax Institute, on which states in our communities hold these holidays, when they are this year and what items are eligible. (Note that Alabama’s annual holiday starts 12:01 a.m. on the third Friday of July and runs through midnight the following Sunday, and this year’s holiday fell before this post.)

Arkansas
August 4-5

  • Clothing and footwear — less than $100 per item
  • Clothing accessories and equipment — less than $50 per item
  • School supplies, school art supplies and school instructional materials

Iowa
August 3-4

  • Clothing and footwear — less than $100 per item (excluding clothing accessories)

Mississippi
July 27-28

  • Clothing and footwear — less than $100 per item

Missouri
August 3-5

  • Clothing — $100 or less per item (excluding clothing accessories)
  • School supplies — $50 or less per item
  • Computer software — $350 or less per item
  • Computers/computer peripheral devices — $1,500 or less
  • Graphing calculators — $150 or less per item

New Mexico
August 3-5

  • Clothing and footwear items — less than $100 per item (excluding accessories, athletic or protective clothing or footwear)
  • School supplies — less than $30 per item
  • Computers, e-readers that have computing functions, and tablets — $1,000 or less per item
  • Certain computer-related items — $500 or less per item
  • Book bags, backpacks, maps and globes — less than $100 per item
  • Handheld calculators — less than $200 per item
  • NOTE: Retailers are not required to participate

Ohio
August 3-5

  • Clothing items priced at $75 or less
  • School supplies priced at $20 or less
  • School instructional material priced at $20 or less
  • NOTE: Items used in a trade or business are not exempt under this sales tax holiday

Oklahoma
August 3-5

  • Clothing and footwear — less than $100 per item (excluding accessories, special clothing or footwear primarily designed for athletic activity or protective use that is not normally worn except when used for athletic activity or protective use, or to the rental of clothing or footwear)

South Carolina
August 3-5

  • Clothing and certain clothing accessories (excluding rentals)
  • Footwear (excluding rentals)
  • School supplies
  • Computers, printers and printer supplies, and computer software (excluding items used for commercial purposes)
  • Certain bed and bath items

Texas
August 10-12

  • Clothing and footwear — less than $100 per item (excluding accessories, athletic or protective clothing, and rentals of clothing or footwear); backpacks used by elementary and secondary students are included
  • Most school supplies — less than $100 per item

Don’t Forget…

Schools are getting more advanced technology, with some even implementing one device per child. With that in mind, don’t forget that you’ll need a robust, reliable and fast internet connection, like Kinetic Internet. Windstream’s Kinetic Internet offers speeds starting at up to 25 Mbps, so find the speed that your family will need this school year.