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Sales-tax holiday proceeds despite state's money woes

Posted August 6, 2009
Updated August 7, 2009

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— Despite a multibillion-dollar deficit and a new state budget that includes a higher sales tax rate and other tax increases, North Carolina will hold its annual sales-tax holiday this weekend.

The tax-free weekend starts at 12:01 a.m. Friday and ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

The annual tax holiday was started several years ago to help families purchasing back-to-school supplies, but it also includes other merchandise.

Computers are tax free up to $3,500, as are sporting goods up to $50 and clothing up to $100. School supplies that cost less than $100 dollars, including instructional materials like globes and maps, also are tax free.

The tax holiday cost the state $19.8 million last year, according to Department of Revenue spokesman Thomas Beam.

Although Washington, D.C., cancelled its sales-tax holiday, a spokeswoman for Gov. Beverly Perdue said there was no discussion during recent budget negotiations to cancel North Carolina's tax-free weekend. Spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson noted that the annual tax-free weekend is written into state law, and legislators would have had to approve another measure to override it.

Some observers said so many people go to stores during the tax holiday that they end up buying things that aren't tax-exempt and make up for some of the lost tax revenue. The additional buying also should give ailing retailers a boost, they said.

Perdue is expected to sign a $19 billion state budget on Friday that includes a range of tax increases, including adding one cent to the sales tax rate. Lawmakers approved $990 million in new taxes to avoid deeper cuts to education and human services programs than those already included in the budget.

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  • mgratk Aug 7, 2009

    jp11 said, "I'm sorry. It "COSTS the state" money. I see it as "it SAVES the taxpayers".

    The STATE does not own money, the citizens own it.....the state just spend it. Remember "cut throught the muscle into the bone" garbage is just that - garbage. Keep on voting socialist. Pols say "we raise their taxes and we get voted back into office......let's raise them even more!" What would happen if 25% unemployment surfaced.....ahhhh 15% tax rate and sales tax? I keep hearing "The state raised the sales tax by a penny." ABSOLUTE BS, they raised the salestax by 15% - they make it sound like you only pay 1 penny more....BS - 1% is not 1 penny. You spend $100 you pay $1.00 more, not 1 penny."
    I have to agree with him or her. When are people going to wake up? It isn't the state's money, it isn't costing the state anything. Last night on WRAL I listened to the anchor say how "it will cost the state...", WRONG! It won't cost the state anything at all!! They're not confiscating!!

  • jp11 Aug 7, 2009

    I'm sorry. It "COSTS the state" money. I see it as "it SAVES the taxpayers".

    The STATE does not own money, the citizens own it.....the state just spend it.
    Remember "cut throught the muscle into the bone" garbage is just that - garbage. Keep on voting socialist. Pols say "we raise their taxes and we get voted back into office......let's raise them even more!"
    What would happen if 25% unemployment surfaced.....ahhhh 15% tax rate and sales tax?
    I keep hearing "The state raised the sales tax by a penny." ABSOLUTE BS, they raised the salestax by 15% - they make it sound like you only pay 1 penny more....BS - 1% is not 1 penny.
    You spend $100 you pay $1.00 more, not 1 penny.

  • workingforthosethatwont Aug 7, 2009

    How about a reprieve on gas prices? That would be good to. Of course with Labor Day coming the prices are going to jump.
    Rising barrel prices seem to coincide with every holiday. Can someone explain that? I call it gouging!

  • time4real Aug 6, 2009

    "Glad to see you will punish local businesses/employees by not shopping here."
    blame the people YOU voted for! local businesses can take it out on them if they don't like it!

  • jjb Aug 6, 2009

    I Give to you this Holiday but I will take back 10 fold beginning September 1st 2009. What a joke! And on November 2nd 2010 you all will go back to the polls and vote them back in...

  • SME2 Aug 6, 2009

    many of us don't need school lists, we've been in school now for over a month! i'll be sitting on the sidelines this weekend and every weekend until I go out of state again THEN I'll stock up on what I need. The 4th highest taxed state in the nation, NC, doesn't need anymore of my money, they can use yours!
    time4real

    Glad to see you will punish local businesses/employees by not shopping here.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Aug 6, 2009

    "How about changing the headline to read "State To Collect Excessive Sales Tax 364 Days This Year.""

    Actually, it's only 362. This is a three-day tax-free event. :)

  • time4real Aug 6, 2009

    many of us don't need school lists, we've been in school now for over a month! i'll be sitting on the sidelines this weekend and every weekend until I go out of state again THEN I'll stock up on what I need. The 4th highest taxed state in the nation, NC, doesn't need anymore of my money, they can use yours!

  • ezLikeSundayMorning Aug 6, 2009

    If you're in Wake County the school lists are on the web. Wal Mart probably has the lists.

    In order for tax cuts to stimulate the economy there has to be taxes to start with. Maybe they should use taxes like the Fed uses the fed funds rate, increase in good times and decrease in bad times. As long as they saved the surpluses in good times....

  • sww Aug 6, 2009

    Since we don't have teachers and supply lists for school yet and the kids aren't in dire need of any clothing, I don't expect to be shopping this weekend...again. It would be more helpful to have the first weekend after school starts (Aug 25 for everyone except year round per the state, right?) the Tax-free weekend.

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