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Tax-Free Holidays in 2022: When Your State Has Them (and For What Items)

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A sales tax-free holiday is a limited-time period where a state allows sales tax to be eliminated or reduced on categories of consumer products. These holidays are usually short in duration and are limited to the items specified by the state, so it pays to be aware of what is available to you and when.

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Most of these holidays happen over a weekend, usually during a shopping period for necessities, like before the start of the school year. During these holidays, sales tax is not collected on selected items, such as clothing and school supplies, but the items are often restricted by price.

A few states have created tax-free holidays for higher-priced items too. Disaster preparedness products like generators and Energy Star products are popular among states who have embraced expanded tax holidays.

However, some tax experts question the political motivations of states participating in these holidays. According to The New York Times, four governors of states who have tax-free holidays — Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), J.B. Pritzker (D-Ill.), Bill Lee (R-Tenn.) and Ned Lamont (D-Conn.) — are up for re-election this year.

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“States are sitting on surpluses at the same time many taxpayers are struggling under the burden of high inflation,” says Jared Walczak, vice president of state projects with the Center for State Tax Policy at the Tax Foundation.

He adds, “State tax holidays tend to be political gimmicks” that divert attention from permanent tax relief to those who really need it.

Gimmick or not, that doesn’t mean you can’t save some money. But beware of retailers jacking up prices during sales tax holidays. You should question if a purchase is something you need because you might actually be paying more for a desired item, per the Tax Foundation.

Currently, there are 19 states that have sales tax-free holidays. Five states (Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon) have no sales tax whatsoever, although some impose an excise tax on certain consumer products. Other states have city-imposed local sales taxes, so it’s best to check your state’s tax revenue site for details.

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The list below shows the dates for these tax-free holidays in 2022 (and beyond in some cases), what products are exempt from sales tax, their cost cap limits, links to state legislation and state sales tax. All data is courtesy of the Federation of Tax Administrators and the Tax Foundation.

Alabama:

Arkansas:

Connecticut:

Florida:

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Illinois:

Iowa:

Maryland:

Massachusetts:

Mississippi:

Missouri:

Nevada:

New Mexico:

Ohio:

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Oklahoma:

South Carolina:

Tennessee:

Texas:

Virginia:

West Virginia:

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