State News

N.C. shoppers getting sales-tax break

Posted August 6, 2010 4:02 a.m. EDT
Updated August 6, 2010 11:14 p.m. EDT

— North Carolina shoppers are heading to stores in search of clothes and school supplies, free from worry about sales tax.

The annual back-to-school sales tax holiday began at 12:01 a.m. Friday and ends at midnight Sunday.

State sales tax is 5.75 percent. Local taxes bring it to 7.75 percent in most counties. Mecklenburg County has the highest rate at 8.25 percent.

The tax exemption covers:

  • Clothing, shoes and school supplies that cost $100 or less each
  • Instructional materials, like textbooks and globes, that cost $300 or less per item
  • Sports equipment – from mouth guards to baseball gloves – priced at $50 or less each
  • Computers with a sales price of $3,500 or less (Note: The sale of a computer monitor, keyboard, mouse or speakers is only tax-free if bought as part of a computer package/)
  • Computer supplies, like a flash drive or printer, as long as they are $250 or less per item

Mike Bastin, the manager at Target at Crossroads in Cary, said his store sees about a 30 percent increase on the annual weekend.

Betsy Roop, whose daughters are going to kindergarten and second grade this year, has been looking forward to this weekend when everything is a little cheaper.

“We also try to come when they have the stuff like crayons for 25 cents or whatever because we go through those a lot during the year,” she said. “Every little bit we can have off helps a lot.”

"As you walk around today, you wouldn't be eable to tell that we're in a recession because people are spending their money," Bastin said.