Local stores are readying for what could be the state’s final tax-free weekend.
Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law last week significant tax-reform measures that eliminate the annual tax holiday, during which school-related merchandise and items such as clothing and computers are exempt from sales tax.
The first sales-tax holiday was held in August 2002. Participation by retailers is mandatory, as the state does not allow those who wish to opt out to do so, according to a North Carolina Department of Revenue press release.
This weekend’s event gets underway after midnight on Friday and lasts through 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
Corky Fulton, owner of SageSport in Lincolnton, said he has several specials planned to coincide with the holiday. While the store, located in the Lincoln Center shopping plaza on North Generals Boulevard, won’t be open for extended hours, he does plan to highlight his large selection of backpacks throughout the weekend.
He will also have T-shirts and some shoes offered at reduced prices.
Lincolnton’s Belk will also be celebrating the tax-free event with a variety of doorbusters, clearance items and coupons as part of a back-to-school sale.
Store Manager Chuck Yoder said Belk will have expanded hours of 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday to accommodate shoppers.
According to the NCDOR release, tax-free weekend specifically exempts the following: clothing, footwear and school supplies of $100 or less per item; school-instructional materials of $300 or less per item; sports and recreational equipment of $50 or less per item; computers of $3,500 or less per item; and computer supplies of $250 or less per item.
Tablet computers and netbooks of $3,500 or less per item qualify; basic eReaders do not.
Additionally, not all items required by a child’s school or sports team necessarily qualify for the exemption.
For a full list of tax-exempt items, visit: http://www.dor.state.nc.us/taxes/sales/holiday_exempt.pdf.