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Ready, set, shop: NC tax-free weekend kicks off

Shoppers get tax breaks on clothing, footwear, school supplies and other items through Sunday.

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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.


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