The sales tax holiday here in Virginia had a great turnout this past weekend.
For those of you who don’t know, an annual sales tax holiday was approved by the General Assembly to begin in 2006, being held on the first full weekend in August. Only certain items are exempt from the sales tax (per the Virginia Department of Taxation website):
During Virginia’s Sales Tax Holiday, purchases of school supplies selling for $20 or less per item, and articles of clothing, including footwear, selling for $100 or less per item, will be exempt from sales tax. All retailers selling these items MUST participate in the Sales Tax Holiday. Sales tax exemptions do not apply to items selling for more than the amounts listed.
For items that are not exempted, retailers had the option to pay the sales tax themselves. Many local retailers exercised this option, and used it for a great promotion.
Of course, everyone loves saving money. This weekend (the sales tax holiday ran all day Friday, through midnight on Sunday) proved to be very successful for area retailers. It looked like Christmas-time in the shopping mall parking lots.
The Richmond Times-Distpatch reported that Wal-mart benefitted quite a bit, with the "sales of boys and girls apparel…[rising] more than 200 percent at Richmond-area stores".
It’s good to hear that the super discount retailer did well, but I was really more interested to hear how the independent retailers fared. From reports from the Retail Merchants Association, they did well, too: "31 percent of the retailers surveyed said their sales jumped 30 percent or more."