Richmond store owner encourages people to shop local during tax-free holiday weekend

Virginia News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia’s three-day sales tax holiday kicked off Friday and will continue through Sunday at 11:59PM.

As residents seek out savings this weekend, 8News spoke to one small business owner who’s reminding people to shop local.

After the coronavirus pandemic closed their doors for months, Clover is open for back-to-school shopping. The children’s boutique in Richmond says Virginia’s tax holiday is normally one of their busiest weekends but owner Lyn Page told 8News the switch to virtual learning could change that.

“We expect back to school shopping to be lower than usual,” Page said.

Still, Page is hoping extensive safety precautions will make customers feel comfortable coming back in the store.

“Just remember, with everything that is going on, if you can still put your money in the local economy you are doing everyone a huge service,” she said.

The state’s 4.3 percent state sales tax, the 1 percent local option tax and other applicable regional taxes are waived on the following eligible items:

  • School supplies, clothing, and footwear:
    • Qualified school supplies – $20 or less per item
    • Qualified clothing and footwear – $100 or less per item
  • Hurricane and emergency preparedness products:
    • Portable generators – $1,000 or less per item
    • Gas-powered chainsaws – $350 or less per item
    • Chainsaw accessories – $60 or less per item
    • Other specified hurricane preparedness items – $60 or less per item
  • Energy Star™ and WaterSense™​ products:
    • Qualifying Energy Star™ or WaterSense™ products purchased for non-commercial home or personal use – $2,500 or less per item

Stephanie Benson with the Virginia Department of Taxation said the tax holiday is a great opportunity for parents to save on clothes and back-to-school supplies.

“With school supplies, it needs to cost $20 or less per item and for clothing and footwear it needs to cost $100 or less per item and it doesn’t include handbags and accessories,” Benson told 8News.

Following the first tropical storm of the hurricane season, Benson said now is also a good time to build an emergency kit. She said people can save on big-ticket items like generators, as well as basic supplies like flashlights and batteries.

Things like face coverings, face shields and sports equipment are not exempt from sales tax this weekend. Click here to find a full list of the school supplies and clothing that are eligible for exemption.

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