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Sales Tax Holiday arrives — just in time for back to school

The right school clothes are still the right school clothes.

That time-honored rite of fall fashion is, in part, why U.S. families with children in elementary school to high school will spend $890, or better, on back-to-school items this year — according to projections from the National Retail Federation.

Which means any break is appreciated.

In West Virginia, that comes Friday, with the launch of the Sales Tax Holiday, just in time for all those back-to-school, shopping-cart forays as summer vacation draws down.

The event, which omits the 6% sales tax on clothing, laptops, select instructional materials and sporting equipment, will run through the weekend and right up to 11:59 p.m. Monday.

Some consumers will even save 7% on their qualified purchases if they do their shopping in a town or city that also has a local sales tax, as per the holiday.

During the holiday, certain clothing with a purchase price of $125 or less are exempt from sales and use tax.

The offer extends to certain laptop and tablet computers with a purchase price of $500 or less.

Certain school instruction materials with a purchase price of $20 or less, along with certain school supplies with a purchase price of $50 or less are in the savings column, also.

So are certain articles of sports equipment, with a purchase price of $150 or less.

Items purchased for use in a trade or business are not exempt under the sales tax holiday, however.

Visit the West Virginia Tax Division for the complete breakdown.

Matthew Shay, who is president and CEO of the National Retail Federation, is calling for a record-breaking year.

In 2022, he reports, American consumers generated sales receipts totaling $36.9 billion for back to school.

Count on $41 billion or better this year, he said, with college purchases coming in even better at $94 billion.

What’s good nationally, Russ Rogerson said, can’t help but be great — locally.

“Every little bit helps,” said Rogerson, who is president and CEO of the Morgantown Area Partnership, which includes local retail under its umbrella.

“And the savings might inspire a family to make other purchases,” he said.

Shoppers and merchants have always had a good partnership here, the president and CEO said.

“We’re always strong for back to school,” he said, “and with WVU, we’re probably stronger than most.”

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