Last sales tax holiday for North Carolina shoppers this weekend

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Submitted: Tue, 07/30/2013 - 3:31am
Updated: Tue, 07/30/2013 - 7:16pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)– Attention shoppers. The sales tax holiday weekend is only a few days away, but this will be the last tax free weekend for the state.

The change comes as part of a major tax reform measure signed into law last week by Gov. Pat McCrory.

After more than 10 years the back-to-school sales tax holiday will be coming to an end, but don’t worry. You have one last chance to shop tax free.

“Tax free weekend is a big weekend for retail stores,” Joseph Phillips said.

Phillips is no stranger to the frenzy surrounding tax free weekend. He has worked as a sales associate at Plato’s Closet for more than two years.

“We have people coming in and out all day,” Phillips said. “Everybody is getting ready to go back to school, and they all want to look good for their first day.”

Shoppers say they are upset about the changes.

“I am not happy about it at all,” Lora McCachren said. “You can really get some good deals on tax free weekend, and that is when a lot of people go shopping for things.”

Shoppers like McCachren have been big fans of the tax free weekend since it launched in 2002.

She says after this year she may be heading south to South Carolina, which has the same tax holiday.

“We are really close,” McCachren said. “I am betting a lot of people will probably go down when they go outlet shopping.”

According to the NC Retail Merchants Association, the annual tax free event is the second most profitable weekend of the year behind Black Friday.

The NC Department of Revenue says the state lost $13.6 million in tax revenue during last year’s sales tax holiday.

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29 Comments on "Last sales tax holiday for North Carolina shoppers this weekend"

2015 years 8 months ago

But back to school sales were on TOP of the tax free part of it.
But that’s OK – I’ll go to Myrtle beach and shop for the grand kids.
I’ll spend the day.
Eat there, shop there, eat some more there and gas up my car before I hit the NC border.
You’re correct – a business generator is what it is – to get people in their stores and spend their money in NC.
To believe otherwise is Un-American, err, un-North Caroliniain.

Its a huge weekend nationwide and in this state.


2015 years 8 months ago

Big deal…save 7%. You can easily do that with any decent sale which happens EVERY weekend. The retailers just held sale prices back and tried to make you think you got a great deal. Tax-free day is nothing other than a business generator, luring folks in that just don’t know any better.

2015 years 8 months ago

Exactly what I was thinking.

I will spend at most $100 on back to school for my 16 year old – never figured out how some people spend so much on Back to School.

2015 years 8 months ago

Has anyone posting here actually READ the budget for the last 3-5 years that our state government has written up?
The lost revenue that our state loses is largely due to spending on things that can be trimmed highly. For instance, 1.25 MILLION a year for landscaping services of the Governors mansion..REALLY?
How about getting those dead A$$ prisoners out of the jails and make them earn their keep? Have them get out in the fresh air and run a farm so that WE can export our produce to foreign countries instead of the other way around or supply our own state with reasonably priced food.How about people using welfare being required to work for their “free” money, Their only excuse shuld bethat they had a family emeergency or that they had a job interview that is verifiable? Before I get all the nasty grams…yes I realize there will always be those that will find their ways around the system. Our state is so hosed up tax wise it isnt funny.
We have resources that we don’t use anymore that can offset some of the unneeded spending. This largely due to the national association of always complaining people (NCAAP) and the Civil liberties Union. Be damned with civil rights, you committ a crime no one said your time should be easy. It was good for states decades ago and it’s time that it come back. I for one get sick and tired of seeing trash and crap all over the road put these jokers to work doing something productive other than making prison furniture.

Does ANYONE remember that when Perdue raised the sales tax to 7.5% that the increase was SUPPOSED to be TEMPORARY? I remember that statement like it was yesterday. I guess my definition of temporary is different. Or did she mean that 7.5% was temporary and that it would go UP MORE?
And since I am on this soapbox, how bout gas prices…we are one of the HIGHEST taxed states in the US on gas prices (I think number 3). However, we are forced to use gasoline that is as much as 10% ethanol but forced to pay premium prices for gas that is only 90%? REALLY? And now they want to raise the ethanol content without regard to what it will do to peoples vehicles simply to push an agenda for people to buy more hybrid or alternative fuel cars that cant afford them.
Politicians get off your high horses, we THE PEOPLE defeated your bill to eliminate the insurance commissioner, we can defeat this too. If you want to cut costs in the state budget start at home, cut YOUR salaries and wasteful spending in your offices.
I personally dont care about the tax free holiday. it doesnt amount to that much anythow. But this was a perfect chance for me to voice my opinion on other things.

2015 years 8 months ago

and it’s attitudes like this that lead individuals, businesses and even countries down the path of terrible fiscal decisions. if 7% is no big deal and not going to break the bank, why don’t we just go ahead and hike it up to 8%? or maybe 9, 10 or 15 or 20?

where do you draw the line where caring about saving X amount determines whether you are “screwed” or financially responsible?

i am curious as to how the state came up with that sum of “lost revenue”

did they just take the total sales and multiply by .07?
did they just guess how many people only spent money that weekend because of the tax incentive?
how much “revenue” will be lost next year? why do i ask because you have to subtract the hypothetical tax revenue that the state would have collected from the businesses from whatever sum they’re using for “lost revenue” for the break in the first place.

certainly some people would have still made these kinds of purchases with or without the tax free weekend, but to claim a quantifiable sum of “lost revenue” is at best fuzzy math

2015 years 8 months ago

It is not the $70 so much as the satisfaction of being able to keep it for yourself instead of giving it to the government to waste. Order online and you never pay sales tax as long as you order out of state. Many times free shipping applies, too.

Dr. Walter Bishop, Fringe Division
2015 years 8 months ago

Sorry Guest123123, but for many people in NC $70 does make or break the bank. A lot of people live paycheck to paycheck and $70 is a tank and a half of gas, an electric bill or a cart full of groceries. Just because you live in fantasy-land where $70 is chump change doesn’t mean it wouldn’t make a huge difference to the rest of us who actually live in the real world.

2015 years 8 months ago

Lets back up to make the point that if someone is so hell bent on saving the 70 bucks they probably are the ones who can only spend 100 dollars on the tax free weekend. Now the savings is is whopping 7 bucks. Back to the same point. If 7 bucks is going to make you or break you then you are just screwed!!!!!

2015 years 8 months ago

If $70.00 is not much money then why does the state of NC want it, must be a lot to them. I thought they (NC GOP) were all about people keeping more of their own money rather than giving it to the government.

2015 years 8 months ago

Not to mention the fact that those “tenured” teachers are part of the reason those budgets are getting squeezed in and of themselves. Especially in union states with promises of raises.

As of this year a teacher in North Carolina with an undergraduate degree and less than 5 years experience makes just under 31k + whatever subsidies the district offers. Some offer none some offer more – areas near or in the cities typically will offer a few more thousand dollars but not much.

now, you’re not going to get rich being a teacher – the pay isn’t going to go up very much – that same teacher with 10 years experience is maybe looking at 40k.
But anyone who thinks teaching is going to make them rich is kidding themselves and probably not someone we want teaching our kids anyway.

you also have to look at the time off – this is a full year salary for 9-10 months of work. you have to factor that in. 20-25% x 31k is more like 37k a year. My wife didn’t make that much in her first job out of grad school with a PhD in biochemistry.

A 22 year old with a BA in teaching and 0 work experience making close to 40k for 9-10 months work isn’t exactly the sob story some teachers will make it out to be. Teachers with higher degrees and no experience (other than the on the job training most education programs require) can make more.

many first year attorneys going into public service make less than that.
the NIH standard for a post-doc in the wet sciences is 38k – and that is for someone with a PhD…not to mention it’s a year round job. A PhD in the sciences typically takes 5-6 years AFTER undergraduate.

the mean salary for a first year resident is 48k and i’d like to see anyone who claims a teacher works harder than a medical resident. not to mention the fact that that the median student debt for a new MD is 180,000.

now, most of these careers have more growth potential – MUCH more growth potential in the case of the physicians – but again, nobody is forcing anyone to be a teacher. If less people did it there would be more market pressure to pay teachers more. As it stands there is a shortage of budget and a windfall supply of labor in this market. i wish teachers made more, but the economics are what they are.

2015 years 8 months ago

under the approved budget for the coming fiscal year, teachers lose their tenure. No more job gaurantee no matter how bad you do your job.

Make or exceed teacher expectations, which means have your students exceed test levels and you get a contract renewal — for another year.

About time they were purt on performance based job tenure.

2015 years 8 months ago

Your argument that teachers are paid more than the state average doesn’t justify pathetic pay for North Carolina teachers. North Carolina is 49th in the nation in teacher pay. The only state that pays educators less is Texas. So we should all be happy that dirt poor states that some say are holes like Louisiana and Mississippi pay educators more than North Carolina? In five years, NC has dropped from 26th to 49th in pay for teachers! Talk about ridiculous!

2015 years 8 months ago

Tom, job performance has little to do with whether or not teachers are renewed. There never has been and never will be a job guarantee for teachers or workers in any other profession. The only thing tenure does for an educator is require the school system to tell why they are not bringing the employee back and gives the worker a chance for a trial. In many cases performance has nothing to do with whether or not a teacher is renewed. I’ve seen good teahcers who were not renewed while other teachers who were horrible were brought back. In mIt all depends on the administration. For anyone to expect teachers in NC this year to be able to get students to exceed test levels would be pretty unrealistic, especially considering the way the state cut a bunch of teacher assistants.

2015 years 8 months ago

You thought you’d “waste a little time”. Congratulations! You got something right!

The only reason the teachers finally came out is because they now found an issue that really concerns them; their paychecks and being held accountable for their own performance at work. No utopian ideals here, just blatant self interest. Just like everybody else.

In your extremist leftist dreams you still see yourself as the leader of a vast army of leftist proletariat, with you as their supreme leader of course. Visions of glory dance through your head. The wallflower finally gets to lead the dance.

Now in your delusions you think that you can be the catalyst for “a ground swell” of teachers going out on strike and doling out “a little classroom punishment”?

That won’t work for two reasons: (1) the rest of us won’t just sit idly by and allow our education system to be placed in harm’s way without dire consequences being attached to such actions and (2) with your current track record of “successes”, no one would perceive you as a creditable leader for any movement, much less one of this nature.

The world has changed and you’re out of touch with today’s reality. Not everything’s fixable by just pouring in more money. Go back to sleep Rip Van T-Ball. Wake up in another twenty years.

2015 years 8 months ago

Since WWAY didn’t have enough space to let us know that on Mondays Moral Monday event in Raleigh over 5000 public school teachers attended.,I thought I’d waste a little time letting all the readers know that the NC Teachers Association better late than never seems finally fed up with the House, Senate and Gov. I for one hope this starts a ground swell of concerned parents, teachers and school administers. Maybe if school starts real late this year we can show our current irresponsible leaders that they can only go so far before the teachers dole out a little classroom punishment. New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick Democrats must come out of the woodwork and get busy. Catlin,Davis,Millis and Iler along with Rabon and Goolsby have got to go.

2015 years 8 months ago

Given the content of your post I can only assume that your problem with the bill passage is the elimination of teacher tenure. Newsflash.. the only person that benefits from tenure is an underperforming teacher. Teachers that excel at their jobs won’t have a lot to worry about, barring budget cuts, which we ALL face with our employers in this day and time. Its time our boards of education had the ability to fire underperforming teachers in order to make room for those more capable. Which are you??

2015 years 8 months ago

What do the teachers have to complain about? They have jobs. They get paid more than the state average. They get more time off than most people. If they don’t like the pay, they should find work elsewhere. If they suck at their job, they should be fired like the rest of us.

2015 years 8 months ago

So if someone spends 1000 dollars which is being generous , they will save a whopping 70 dollars. If 70 dollars is going to make you or break you something needs to change in your life and fast.

2015 years 8 months ago

“The N.C. Department of Revenue says the state lost $13.6 million in tax revenue during last year’s sales tax holiday.”

If NC did not have a sales tax holiday last year, the state probably would not have lost tax revenue because people would not have had a reason to buy during that weekend. It’s hard to lose $13.6 million when you never actually had it; it’s impossible to project a loss based on unknown, questionable public spending. This figure comes only with the assumption that people would have spent the exact dollar figure on the same weekend and been taxed on it. It doesn’t compute.

2015 years 8 months ago

thank you for posting this, I was thinking the same thing but couldn’t have said it as well as you did.

2015 years 8 months ago

This supposed lost tax revenue will continue because as sad as it is, people will go to other states to take advantage of their tax free weekends.

2015 years 8 months ago

First of all – Governor SAP (Screw All Poor) blew it on this one.
Second we lost out on $13.6M in revenue? What about the $2B in lost revenue over the next 5 years?
I think everyone knows whats going on. By cutting revenue they increase the sense of “urgency” in cutting spending. You get people really worried and they begin to think that cutting Medicaid is a good thing.
It’s starve the beast on steroids……
This Legislature compromised on what services they would tax – THIS YEAR so that it would be more politically palatable.
Wait until tax revenues come in short THIS YEAR and continues on.
Then you’ll see the SHTF


2015 years 8 months ago

He’s now known as Gov Liar……
Really, how could he be so stupid? He could have vetoed this to keep his campaign promise, and let the Legislature over ride.
In doing it the way he did, he justifies his opponents anger.
Bad political move by McCrory in today’s very public You Tube world


2015 years 8 months ago

Since the article failed to actually mention details such as the dates of the sales tax weekend and the items subject to the sales tax exemption:

The final tax-free weekend officially begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday, 2 August 2013 and ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, 4 August 2013. For a full list of items you can buy free of taxes, visit the N.C. Department of Revenue’s website.


G.S. 105-164.13C authorizes a sales tax holiday in North Carolina. Sales and use taxes do not apply
to the following items of tangible personal property that are sold between 12:01 A.M. on the first Friday
of August and 11:59 P.M. the following Sunday:

1. Clothing with a sales price of one hundred dollars ($100.00) or less per item.
“Clothing” is defined as all human wearing apparel suitable for general use including coats,
jackets, hats, hosiery, scarves, and shoes. The items listed below are included in the term and
are therefore exempt from tax during the sales tax holiday period if the sales price of the item is
$100 or less. This list is not all-inclusive.
Aprons, household and shop
Athletic supporters
Baby receiving blankets
Bathing suits and caps; beach capes and
Belts and suspenders
Boots; overshoes
Coats, jackets, capes, and wraps
Costumes (does not include costume
masks sold separately)
Diapers (children and adults, including
Earmuffs; gloves and mittens for general
use; hats and caps; hosiery; scarves
Formal wear (does not include rentals)
Garters and garter belts; girdles; leotards
and tights; panty hose; socks; stockings
and footlets; underwear
Insoles for shoes
Jogging suits
Lab coats
Rubber pants
Sandals; shoes and shoelaces; slippers;
sneakers; steel-toed shoes
Uniforms (athletic and nonathletic uniforms
when purchased for nonbusiness use)
Wedding apparel (does not include rentals)

2. Sport or recreational equipment with a sales price of fifty dollars ($50.00) or less per item.
“Sport or recreational equipment” is defined as items designed for human use and worn in
conjunction with an athletic or recreational activity that are not suitable for general use. The items
listed below are included in the term and are therefore exempt from tax during the holiday period
if the sales price of the item is $50 or less. This list is not all-inclusive.
Ballet and tap shoes
Cleated or spiked athletic shoes
Gloves (baseball, bowling, boxing, hockey,
golf, and other sports)
Hand and elbow guards
Helmets (bicycle, skating, baseball, and
other sports)
Life preservers and vests
Mouth guards
Roller and ice skates
Shin guards
Shoulder pads
Ski boots
Waders, wetsuits, and fins

3. Computers, including tablet computers and netbooks, with a sales price of three thousand
five hundred dollars ($3,500) or less per item.
A “computer” is an electronic device that accepts information in digital or similar form and
manipulates it for a result based on a sequence of instructions. For purposes of the exemption
during the sales tax holiday, a computer includes a central processing unit, monitor, keyboard,
mouse, and speakers since these items are deemed to be necessary in the operation of the
The separate sale of a monitor, keyboard, mouse, or speakers is subject to the applicable tax
when the item is not sold in conjunction with a central processing unit. Peripherals are not
considered part of a computer and are subject to the applicable tax notwithstanding that they may
be sold with the computer as a package. Peripherals must be separately stated on the invoice
and the appropriate tax charged on those items.
An eReader with enhanced computing functions, such as internet access, e-mail, and the ability to
download and run applications, is a computer for purposes of the sales tax holiday period. Basic
eReaders are not computers and are subject to the State and applicable local sales and use taxes
during the holiday.

4. Computer supplies with a sales price of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) or less per item.
A “computer supply” is an item commonly used by a student in a course of study in which a
computer is used. The items listed below are included in the term and are therefore exempt from
tax during the holiday period if the sales price of the item is $250 or less. This list is all-inclusive.
Computer storage media, including diskettes and compact disks
Handheld electronic schedulers, except devices that are cellular phones
Personal digital assistants, except devices that are cellular phones
Computer printers
Printer supplies for computers, including printer paper and printer ink

5. School supplies with a sales price of one hundred dollars ($100.00) or less per item.
A “school supply” is an item commonly used by a student in a course of study; the term includes
school art supplies and school instructional materials. The items listed below are included in the
term and are therefore exempt from tax during the holiday period if the sales price of the item is
$100 or less. This list is all-inclusive.
Blackboard chalk
Book bags
Cellophane tape
Clay and glazes
Composition books
Folders (expandable, pocket, plastic, and
Glue, paste, and paste sticks
Index card boxes
Index cards
Legal pads
Lunch boxes
Paintbrushes for artwork
Paints (acrylic, tempora, and oil)
Paper (loose leaf ruled notebook paper,
copy paper, graph paper, tracing
paper, manila paper, colored paper,
poster board, and construction paper)
Pencil boxes and other school supply boxes
Pencil sharpeners
Pencils (includes pencil leads)
Pens (includes pen refills)
Sketch and drawing pads
Writing tablets

6. School instructional materials with a sales price of three hundred dollars ($300.00) or less
per item.
“School instructional material” is written material commonly used by a student in a course of study
as a reference and to learn the subject being taught. The term is mutually exclusive of the terms
“school supply” and “computer supply.” The items listed below are included in the term and are
therefore exempt from tax during the holiday period if the sales price of the item is $300 or less
per item. (Prior to the 2008 holiday, these items were categorized as “school supplies” and were
exempt during the holiday period if the sales price of the item was $100 or less per item.) This list
is all-inclusive.
Reference books
Reference maps and globes


G.S. 105-164.13C(b) provides the sales tax exemption allowed during the sales tax holiday does not
apply to the following items:
1. Sales of clothing accessories or equipment.
2. Sales of protective equipment.
3. Sales of furniture.
4. Sales of an item for use in a trade or business.
5. Rentals.

2015 years 8 months ago

I am a tacksed enough already patriot. I want all my benefits for free.

2015 years 8 months ago

What is tacksed? Is it contagious?

2015 years 8 months ago

Gee, another wonderful act by governor Patty Duke. As if he hasn’t done enough to ruin, along with his fake GOP crony capitalists, to destroy a relatively well functioning state. Getting rid of the tax free weekend will COST the state money, rather than save it. Simply another example of bad math by the GOP as usual.

2015 years 8 months ago

Actually, you are wrong. What is going to happen if things don’t change is all the good teachers will leave the state and your child will get a sorry education. I’m glad you could care less about the education your kids receive. The pay level is basically a joke. Teacher pay in NC has dropped in five years from 26th to 49th in the nation. I’m sure you would love to see your pay in whatever profession you are in to drop that substantially in such a short period of time. I’d like you to name a profession which is more important than education.

2015 years 8 months ago

There are those parents who feel their child(ren) “need” new everything to begin each school year…new $100+ shoes, new backpack, new this, and new that. Why they do is beyond me. I cannot imagine why a kid would need a new backpack each and every year. All three of my children are products of the New Hanover school system, all graduated from college, and on their own. I certainly didn’t buy them new “everything” each year.