From the Capitol: Tax Free Week is Almost Here

August 9, 2014

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – back-to-school and tax-free shopping. Parents everywhere rejoice!

From Sunday, August 17 through Saturday, August 23 Connecticut will host its annual tax-free shopping week. That means no sales tax on most clothing and footwear under $300 per item.

This includes socks, jackets, coats, dresses, pants, shirts, sleepwear, shoelaces, sneakers, swimsuits, hats, gloves and plenty more.

By law, tax free week runs from the third Sunday in August to the following Saturday every year. Tax free week was first enacted in 2000, and applies to most clothing and footwear purchases intended for everyday use.

Not all items fall under the tax free program. For example, clothing and shoes for sporting activities are not included, so no deal on ballet shoes, cleats or helmets. Accessories such as jewelry, watches, handbags, and wallets are also not included.

While I always welcome tax free week, I also wish this tax exemption could apply all the time, and could apply to more items.

For example, backpacks, books, office supplies, computers, and dorm furniture don’t fit into the tax free category, even though these are also significant back-to-school expenses.

Connecticut is also waiting to see our sales tax exemption on clothing and shoes under $50 reinstated. In 2011, that exemption was eliminated. I’ve pushed for budgets that would have immediately restored the exemption and removed that sales tax, but the majority has delayed the exemption until July 1, 2015. So, we continue to wait.

Tax free week is a great opportunity for families, but it can also be improved and expanded. If you have ideas for improving tax free week, or if you would like to see specific items added to the tax-free items list please share your thoughts with me. I do believe that any relief for taxpayers is welcome relief in our state, and I am always happy to support legislation that advocates for tax breaks for my constituents.

For a full list of items covered and not covered under tax free week visit the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services website.

Kevin Kelly represents the 21st Senatorial District, which includes the towns of Monroe, Seymour, Shelton and Stratford. He can be reached at 800.842.1421, at [email protected] You can follow Senator Kelly on Twitter @21KevinKelly and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/senatorkevinkelly.