Tax-Free Weekends Help Take Sting Out of Back-to-School Costs

Tax-Free Weekends Help Take Sting Out of Back-to-School Costs Photo (cc) by EvelynGiggles

As summer begins to wind down and the school year draws near, many parents are preparing to open (and maybe empty) their pocketbooks on back-to-school shopping.

According to the National Retail Federation, American families spend about 42 percent more on back-to-school purchases now than they did just a decade ago.

Total spending on back-to-school shopping is expected to hit nearly $25 billion this year, the NRF said. On average, a family with school-age children plans to spend about $630.36 on school supplies, electronics and clothes this year.

A RetailMeNot survey found that on average, parents spend about two weeks shopping for back-to-school supplies. More than 1 in 4 parents expressed concern about the financial burden and stress of back-to-school shopping.

Parents can take some of the sting out of the annual ritual by taking advantage of sales-tax-free weekends in 17 participating states, as detailed by RetailMeNot. Click on an individual state to see what items will be tax-exempt:

Tax-free shopping holidays typically start at 12:01 a.m. and end at midnight.

Five states – Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon – don’t have a sales tax. In eight states, clothing purchases are normally tax exempt (Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Vermont) or tax exempt up to a limit (New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut) according to the Tax Foundation, a think tank in Washington, D.C.

How much do you usually spend on back-to-school shopping? What are the most expensive purchases you’ll make? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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