It’s been a crazy week, with a mad dash to get everything ready for teachers and students to return to our district next week. The first Back-to-School sales were advertised the weekend after the Fourth of July, and culminate this weekend with the annual Tax Free Weekend in South Carolina.
In the past I’ve been able to use this weekend to our district’s advantage. The first year of tax relief, I purchased about 300 computers saving our district nearly $15,000 in sales tax. At that time we were leasing computers, and they (the state) closed our loophole by disallowing debt service payments such as leases the following year. This year we’re purchasing outright, and I was able to save about $4000 on laptops and printers. Not too shabby.
There was some question about the printers. The regulations state that computer parts such as keyboards and monitors are not exempt, unless they are bundled with a CPU. We weren’t sure how the printers would be handled on this ordered, but we were ready to pair one up with a laptop to create a "bundle", if necessary. Of course, that would have been a weird sight – a little laptop hooked to a big honkin’ network printer.
Of course, other things are tax-free this weekend (PDF File). Day Timers and organizers are exempt only if they are going to be used by students. But who’s going to check that? Clothing is the largest category. In fact, just about anything related to clothing will not have sales tax this weekend, including wedding gowns, inline skates, garter belts, and fishing boots (which sounds like a kinky combination to me.) Myself, I just settled for a few pairs of khakis, a couple of shirts and ties.