Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina’s annual sales tax holiday began Friday, offering savvy shoppers a chance to save some change on items ranging from school supplies to wedding dresses.
The combined state and local sales tax rate across North Carolina is 6.75 percent. It’s 7 percent in Durham, Orange, Cumberland, Lee and Sampson counties.
"It's a very big deal because it saves lots of money," one Fayetteville shopper said, "Especially when you're on a tight budget."
But not everything is included.
The popular event, which began in 2002, includes 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, but eReaders do not.
The holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday and lasts until 11:59 p.m. Sunday. Participation in the sales tax holiday is required. Retailers cannot opt out or charge sales tax and tell shoppers to request a refund from the Department of Revenue.
Items are not necessarily exempt from sales tax just because they are required by a child’s school or sports team.
To promote the event, Gov. Bev Perdue shopped Friday at a Walmart in New Bern, filling a backpack with school supplies.
Visit the department’s website for more information and a complete list of qualifying items.