The 2014-2015 school year is quickly approaching and I would like to remind you of the upcoming annual back-to-school sales tax holiday, which is Friday, August 1st through Sunday, August 3rd. During these three days, certain school supplies, clothing, and footwear will be exempt from the Virginia sales tax.

In 2006, I co-patroned the bill that eliminates the sales tax on certain school related items for one weekend each year. As a father of four, I know how expensive "back-to-school" shopping can be.

As in past years, a variety of school supplies, including notebooks, pens, binders, calculators, paints and crayons, will be tax-free as long as each item costs $20 or less. Most clothing items and footwear will also be exempt from the 5 percent sales tax as long as they are priced at $100 or less each. There is no limit on the number of items you can purchase tax-free as long as each item qualifies.

To view a full list of the items that are included in the sales tax holiday, along with guidelines and frequently asked questions for both consumers and retailers, click this link

The sales tax holiday is available to anyone – not just those preparing for school – and all Virginia retailers who sell the exempt products must participate. During the sales tax holiday, retailers may also choose to save taxpayers even more by opting to pay the sales tax themselves on items that are not exempt under the guidelines.