Sales taxes stayed

Published 8:02 am Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Contributing Editor

It’s that time of year — again.
The three-day sales-tax holiday returns Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That’s good news for consumers buying back-to-school items and some clothing. It’s also good news for some area retailers.
“We are heavily staffed on Friday and Saturday. We usually require everybody to work two of those three days,” said Erica Ormand, assistant manager at Office Depot in Washington.
The Washington store expects an extra shipment of items this week to make sure it’s prepared for the expected increase in customers and sales, she said.
“It is one of our busiest weekends, actually the whole month,” Ormand said.
Three years ago, then-Gov. Mike Easley signed into law legislation that added school instructional materials, such as reference books, maps, globes, textbooks and workbooks with an individual price tag of up to $300 to the list of items exempt from the sales tax. Previously, the price limit was $100.
The sales-tax holiday applies to state and local sales and use taxes. The back-to-school sales-tax holiday was enacted by the N.C. Legislature and signed into law by Easley in 2001.
The sales-tax holiday means that for each $100 spent on eligible items, the consumer saves $7.75 in sales tax, according to the N.C. Department of Revenue’s website. The combined state and local sales taxes in Beaufort County come to 7.75 cents per dollar.
This weekend’s sales-tax holiday will be the 10th one, with the first one in 2001.
Beginning at 12:01 a.m. Friday, clothing, footwear and school supplies of $100 or less per item; sports and recreation equipment of $50 or less per item’ computers of $3,500 or less per item; and computer supplies of $250 or less per item will be exempt from state sales tax during the weekend. State sales and use taxes will go back into effect at midnight Sunday.
Retailers may only collect from their customers sales taxes that are legally due (during the weekend), according to the N.C. Department of Revenue’s Web site. Retailers may not choose to not participate in the sales-tax weekend, according to the N.C. Department of Revenue.
Clothing accessories, jewelry, cosmetics, protective equipment, wallets, furniture, items used in a trade or business, and rentals are not covered by the exemption and will be subject to the applicable tax.
Go to for more details on the 2010 sales-tax holiday, including a technical bulletin that specifies the items that are exempt from sales tax.