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Which States Have Tax-Free Holidays, And When Do They Happen?

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As families prepare to send their little ones back to school, they’re heading to malls, big box stores, and other retailers to fill their backpacks and closets. While many companies offer deals and programs targeting back-to-school season — we’re looking at you Target — many states are also offering their own deals in the way of sales tax-free weekends. 

Although these holidays have been popular with shoppers, they haven’t exactly proven to be an economic stimulus.

In fact, The Pew Charitable Trusts reports that some states’ sales tax holidays have lost their luster.

The holidays — which apply only to certain items like clothing, school supplies, or tools — tend to cause an increase in shopping, but because these shopping sprees don’t include sales tax, states aren’t benefiting.

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy estimated that states lost $300 million due to sales tax holidays in 2016.

In Georgia, where the state recently scrapped its tax-free holiday, Georgia State University researchers estimate the state lost $24 million in taxes last year.

Despite the often meager savings for shoppers, many retailers have continued to advocate for the tax-free holidays, arguing that the weekends help level the playing between bricks-and-mortar retailers and those doing business online, which are often tax exempt, Pew reports.

Although more states have ditched the sales tax holidays, there are still plenty offering the deals.

Here are the 16 states with tax-free holidays:

State Dates Applies To
Alabama Feb. 24 to Feb. 26;
July 21 to July 23
February: Hurricane preparedness generators and supplies.
July: Clothing, computers, school supplies, and books
Arkansas Aug. 5 to Aug. 6 Clothing and School Supplies
Connecticut Aug. 20 to Aug. 26 Clothing and footwear
Florida June 2 to June 4;
Aug. 4 to Aug. 6
June: Disaster preparedness generators, batteries, fuel containers, and flashlights.
August: Clothing, supplies, and computers.
Iowa Aug. 4 to Aug. 5 Clothing
Louisiana May 27 to May 28;
Aug. 4 to Aug. 5
May: Hurricane preparedness supplies.
August: Tangible personal property
Maryland Feb. 18 to Feb. 20;
Aug. .13 to Aug. 19
February: Energy star products.
August: Clothing and footwear
Mississippi July 28 to July 29 Clothing and footwear
Missouri April 19 to April 25;
Aug. 4 to Aug. 6
April: Energy star products.
August: Clothing, computers, and school supplies.
New Mexico Aug. 4 to Aug. 6 Clothing, computers, computer equipment, and school supplies
Ohio Aug. 4 to Aug. 6 Clothing and school supplies
Oklahoma Aug. 4 to Aug. 6 Clothing
South Carolina Aug. 4 to Aug. 6 Clothing, school supplies, computers, and other
Tennessee July 28 to July 30 Clothing, school supplies and computers
Texas April 22 to April 24;
May 27 to May 29;
Aug. 11 to Aug. 13
April: Generators, storm devices, preparedness items;
May: Energy star products and air conditioners;
August: Clothing, backpacks, and school supplies
Virginia Aug. 4 to Aug. 6 Clothing, school supplies, energy star products, hurricane preparedness items, and generators

 

Data from Federation of Tax Administrators 

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