Pricey Harrison

Friday, July 29, 2005

Reminder- Sales Tax-Free Weekend is August 5-7

Mark your calendars - North Carolina's three-day, sales-tax-free weekend is August 5-7th. The holiday, in its fourth year, will allow parents to buy needed back-to-school items and other North Carolinians can take advantage of the discounts as well.

Customers will be able to purchase certain items during the weekend without paying a sales tax. These items include clothing, shoes and school supplies that cost less than $1,000 per item and computers for personal use that are priced less than $3,500. Shoppers will see a few changes this year, specifically in the computer software and printer supplies category. Canned software, or packaged software sold off-the-shelf, will be taxed this year, as will be 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. Additionally, shoppers this year can add school supplies such as blackboard chalk, cellophane tape, index card boxes, markers, pencil boxes, rulers and writing tablets to the approved list.

During the 2001 budget crisis the North Carolina General Assembly was forced to raise the state's sales tax to 7 percent (7.5 percent in Mecklenburg County) in order to balance the budget and meet the state's needs in education, health care, public safety and other vital state-funded programs. Realizing that the sales tax increase hurts both consumers and retailers, the General Assembly voted to offset this plan by creating a weekend that was free of sales tax on items parents will be buying to send their children back to school.

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