Savvy shoppers get ready: Virginia's tax-free weekend is here.
Customers across the state can shop Friday through Sunday for special deals and skirt the 6 percent Hampton Roads sales tax on specified items eligible by the state.
According to the National Retail Federation, the weekend is one of the best times to shop for school supplies and other back-to-school items. It also offers deals on hurricane preparedness gear.
Virginia Tax, which administers tax laws for the commonwealth, states that qualifying products include school supplies, clothing, footwear and hurricane emergency items. Items mustn't exceed a set dollar amount limit to qualify.
The National Retail Federation reported that a family with school-age children plan to spend the average of $687.72 for back-to-school shopping in 2017. The federation reports this is the second-highest recorded spending level to date.
Stores across the state are offering special deals on top of the tax incentive.
Those who stop by Office Depot will find items priced as low as a penny and receive special incentives for recycling old school supplies such as binders. The retailer also will price match competitors, according to Troy Rice, Office Depot's president of retail.
Although Virginia's hurricane season is underway, the tax-free holiday gives state residents a chance to stock up on preparedness items.
Energy Star and WaterSense products are also tax exempt this weekend, depending on the price point.
"This is an excellent opportunity for our residents to purchase emergency supplies in preparation for hurricanes, flash floods and other potential emergency weather situations," said York County Fire Chief Stephen P. Kopczynski.
Kopczynsk specifically named the NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio as a great item to pick up this weekend. He called it "one of the most important items."
The radio notifies residents of severe weather in the area.
Joseph can be reached by phone at 757-374-3134.
Virginia Tax listed these items eligible
School supplies: $20 or less per item
Clothing and footwear: $100 or less per item
Portable generators: $1,000 or less per item
Gas-powered chainsaws: $350 or less per item
Chainsaw accessories: $60 or less per item
Other itemized hurricane preparedness items: $60 or less per item
Qualifying Energy Star™ or WaterSense™ products for noncommercial use (home or personal): $2,500 or less per item
More info: tax.virginia.gov/virginia-sales-tax-holiday.