This weekend, 11 states are celebrating a tax holiday, which means sales tax will be withheld from select purchases. (Additional states join in on the fun later in the month; click here for a complete list with eligible product categories.) The weekend is particularly good for back-to-school shoppers, as many states accept purchases that include supplies, apparel, and computers.
Shoppers surely appreciate any discount they can get, but there are some — like the writers at the Freakanomics blog — who feel the supposedly consumer-geared initiative is actually doing more to encourage sales for vendors, rather than provide genuine breaks for shoppers.
This may seem true for something small, like school supplies; Florida allows for supplies up to $15 to be purchased tax-free, which saves you a whopping 90 cents — certainly a discount, but perhaps one that's not as great as it initially seemed. But if you live in one of the states that refunds computers and other large items, the savings can obviously be rather substantial. In Tennessee, for example, computers up to $1,500 will be tax-free, which is a savings of up to $105.
Either way, it's always nice to avoid that extra bump in your total at the cash register, right?