This weekend, the 6% state sales and use tax, and any applicable local sales and use tax, will not be imposed on clothing, clothing accessories (e.g., hats, scarves, hosiery, and handbags), footwear, school supplies (e.g., pens, pencils, paper, binders, notebooks, books, bookbags, lunchboxes, and calculators), computers, printers and printer supplies, computer software, and bath wash clothes, blankets, bed spreads, bed linens, sheet sets, comforter sets, bath towels, shower curtains, bath rugs and mats, pillows, and pillow cases.
The sales tax holiday, however, does not apply to sales of jewelry, cosmetics, eyewear, wallets, watches, furniture, rental of clothing or footwear, items for use in a business, or items placed on layaway or similar deferred payment and delivery plans.
This may or may not be the best time to purchase your back to school items. Some retailers may not put the best prices on their wares this weekend, relying instead on the feeding frenzy that is sales tax free weekend to drive sales. Once the sales taxes are back in place, retailers have to once again compete for your business by giving you the best price.
However, tax free weekend may be an excellent time to purchase products that have their prices set on a nationwide basis, such as computers or other goods purchased online. Next weekend, after the sales tax holiday has ended, may produce better overall prices as retailers seek to sell their remaining inventory but the selection may be limited as items may be picked over at that point. The trick is to know the true cost of your intended purchase and only buy if its a good deal or you are not really concerned about getting the best possible price.
Remember, if your goal is to get the best possible price, avoiding sales taxes may not be the best way to get there. If you end up having to pay sales taxes but still get a lower overall price, that, my friends, is still a victory in the retail wars.