Some states are offering sales tax holidays for buyers in 2022

The economy may be cooling, but retailers are hoping back-to-school shopping will stay hot. Despite the pandemic, back-to-school expenses have increased.

According to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey, families with children in elementary through high school are expected to spend $37.1 billion last year, up from $33.9 billion in 2020. That marks a record high since the survey , which measures how American families buy clothes, supplies and other items for the upcoming school year, began in 2003.

With some schools just letting students out, back-to-school projections aren’t yet released for 2022. But states, understanding that retailers are competing with online sales, are trying to keep shoppers local. One of the ways they do it? Sales tax holidays.

Sales tax exemptions are intended to help families save money on essentials. It’s an idea that many lawmakers feel they can support, while many experts say the benefits are too limited to be significant.

Sales tax holiday history

According to the Tax Foundation, the first sales tax holidays took place in Ohio and Michigan in 1980, targeting automobile purchases. The idea didn’t really catch on until 1997, when New York introduced a sales tax exemption for clothing to keep shopping dollars within its borders.

Over the next few years, several states introduced sales tax exemptions. Some have made them regular features, usually targeting back-to-school purchases. On the other hand, others retreated, depending on the level of filling of their coffers.

Sales tax exemptions cost states and local governments more than $550 million in lost revenue last year, according to an Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) survey of tax estimates. costs of state tax expenditure reports, tax memos, tax services, and academics. studies. These numbers are up from the estimated $300 million in 2020.

Realistically, that revenue will have to be offset somewhere. While some states, like California, are running an operating surplus, not all states are feeling so good. Eighteen states will hold a sales tax holiday in 2022, one below the record of 19 states in 2010.

Sales tax holidays remaining in 2022

Here’s an overview of state sales tax holidays for the rest of 2022, along with exempt items:

Alabama (July 15-17): Clothing $100 or less per item, computers $750 or less, school supplies $50 or less per item, and books $30 or less per item

Arkansas (August 6-7): Clothing and footwear under $100 per item, clothing accessories under $50 per item, and school supplies, art supplies and textbooks

Connecticut (August 21-27): Clothing and footwear under $100 per item, excluding clothing accessories, protective or athletic clothing, and some footwear

Florida (May 14-August 14): children’s books

Florida (May 28 to June 10): Disaster relief items, with block exemption for items priced between $1 and $1,000

Florida (July 1-7): Retail admission to music events, sporting events, cultural events, specified shows, movies, museums, state parks and fitness facilities, as well as eligible boating and nautical supplies, camping supplies, fishing supplies, general outdoor supplies, backyard pool supplies, and sports equipment.

Florida (July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023): Children’s diapers and infant and toddler clothing, clothing and footwear

Florida (July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023): New Energy Star appliances, including clothes dryers for $1,500 or less, refrigerators or combination refrigerator/freezers for $3,000 or less, washing machines for $1,500 or less less and water heaters for $1,500 or less. less

Florida (July 1, 2022-June 30, 2024): impact doors, impact garage doors and impact windows

Florida (July 25-August 7): Clothing, shoes and some accessories with a sale price of $100 or less per item, certain school supplies with a sale price of $50 or less per item, learning aids and puzzles with a retail price of $30 or less, personal computers and certain computer accessories with a retail price of $1,500 or less

Florida (September 3-9): Tools commonly used by skilled workers, including work gloves, toolboxes, work boots, etc. ; dollar limit varies by type of goods

Illinois (August 5-14): Sales tax due is reduced from 6.25% to 1.25% on qualifying apparel and footwear priced below $125 per item and certain school supplies not subject to the threshold of $125.

Iowa (August 5-6): Clothes or shoes at $100 or less per item

Maryland (August 14-20): Select apparel, footwear and accessories, including sweaters, shirts, pants, jeans, dresses, robes, underwear, belts, shoes and boots at price of $100 or less, and the first $40 of a backpack/schoolbag purchase is also tax-exempt

Massachusetts (Date TBD, although legislation was enacted in 2018 establishing an annual sales tax exemption): Most retail items for personal use

Mississippi (July 29-30): school supplies, clothing and shoes under $100 per item

Mississippi (August 26-28): sale of firearms, ammunition and certain hunting articles

Missouri (August 5-7): Clothing $100 or less per item, school supplies $50 or less per item, computer software $350 or less, personal computers or computer peripherals $1,500 or less, and graphing calculators $150 or less less

Nevada (October 28-30): Tangible personal property sold to certain members of the Nevada National Guard and their eligible dependents living at the same physical address in Nevada

New Mexico (August 5-7): Shoes and clothing under $100 per item, school supplies under $30 per item, computers under $1,000 per item, and computer peripherals under $500 per item per item

Ohio (August 5-7): Clothing $75 or less per item, school supplies $20 or less per item, and learning materials $20 or less per item

Oklahoma (August 5-7): Clothes and shoes under $100 each

South Carolina (August 5-7): Back-to-school clothing, accessories and supplies, backpacks and computers

Tennessee (July 29-31): Clothing $100 or less per item, computers $1,500 or less, and school and art supplies $100 or less per item

Tennessee (July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022): Gun Safes and Gun Safeguards

Texas (August 5-7): Clothes, shoes, school supplies and backpacks under $100

West Virginia (August 5-8): Clothing $125 or less, school supplies $50 or less, educational materials $20 or less, laptops and tablets $500 or less, and sports equipment $150 or less

The fine print

These are general guidelines for state sales tax exemptions based on currently available information. As you know, tax may depend on the facts and circumstances, so check with your state tax department for details on what items may be exempt. Also, keep in mind that some state offers allow counties and cities to opt out, so some sales taxes may still apply.

Don’t see your state listed? Five states have no statewide sales tax (Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon), while others (like Vermont and my home state of Pennsylvania) already exempt basic necessities such as clothing.

This is a regular column from Kelly Phillips Erb, the Taxgirl. Erb offers commentary on the latest tax news, tax law and tax policy. Look for Erb’s column each week in Bloomberg Tax and follow her on Twitter at @taxgirl.

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