Back-To-School Tax Holiday Starts Friday

Stuff The Bus Campaign Also Planned

Posted: August 1, 2013

HARRISONBURG — Shoppers can snag back-to-school items sans sales tax Friday through Sunday during the state’s eighth annual back-to-school sales tax holiday.


Over the weekend, qualifying school supplies that are less than $20 per item and certain clothing and footwear $100 or less per item are exempt from Virginia’s 5.3 percent sales tax.


Other items might also be available tax-free if retailers choose to shoulder the cost for consumers.


The Virginia General Assembly approved the holiday in 2006 to aid families with the cost of loading up on binders, crayons, calculators, musical instruments, paper, pens and pencils for students. Anybody, however, can take advantage of the deal.


A full list of qualifying items is listed at .


Two local school supply drives coincide with the sales tax holiday weekend.


In Elkton, the Elkton Area United Services and SoLace Studios Fine Handcrafts partner for Pack the Bus. A bus will be parked outside of SoLace Studios, 193 W. Spotswood Ave., on Friday and Saturday, where people can donate school supplies from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day.


Even if someone misses the tax-free weekend, donations will be accepted at SoLace until Aug. 15. Donations can be dropped off 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Sunday from noon until 5 p.m. Barb Polin, owner of SoLace, is offering a 15 percent off coupon for her shop for anyone who donates supplies.


All items collected for Pack the Bus will be donated to eastern Rockingham County children. Polin said more information will be available at


Stuff the Bus, which covers Harrisonburg, Waynesboro, Staunton and Rockingham, Page and Shenandoah counties, also coincides with the tax holiday. This year, organizers hope to rake in more than $100,000 worth of supplies and backpacks over the weekend to help families that can’t afford them.


VerStandig Broadcasting coordinates the event and partners with WHSV-TV3, United Way, Salvation Army and the local Walmarts.


“We believe that all children should enter school in the fall ready to learn and succeed,” said Betsy Hay, executive director of the United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, in a press release. “Many do not have the supplies that they need.”


This year, the event includes six area drop-off locations.


People can donate supplies at the Harrisonburg Crossing Walmart from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Sunday.


School buses also will be stationed at the Walmarts in Luray, Woodstock and on John Wayland Highway just south of Harrisonburg. Items will be accepted at those three locales on Friday from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.


The drop-off hours for Saturday and Sunday are the same as the hours for the Harrisonburg Crossing Walmart.


“Stuff the Bus brings the community together to help our local children,” Hay said.


Anyone interested in volunteering at the collection sites in Harrisonburg can sign up at /aam/general/event/?doc_id151.


Full List Of Qualifying Items:


Contact Emily Sharrer at 574-6286 or

NDN Video News