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Take advantage of break

It’s not too often that the government gives us a tax break, so we should take advantage of it when we can.

This weekend, thousands of items will be tax-free, ranging from clothing and school supplies to hurricane preparedness items and energy- and water-saving appliances. It’s a great time to buy for charity or to stock up on those things that won’t go to waste — or even to purchase your wedding dress, if you’re at that point in your life.

Yep, there are lots of things included in the tax-free list that you might not think of. Below is a list of a few of the things you may not realize are tax-free this weekend:

  • School supplies
  • Blackboard chalk (people still use blackboards?) and dry-erase markers
  • Cellophane tape
  • Art supplies like clay, paints and paintbrushes, glue and sketch pads
  • Reference materials like dictionaries and globes
  • Computer storage media like recordable compact discs and flash drives
  • Musical instruments, as well as accessories and replacement items for them and sheet music
  • Tissues
  • All kinds of paper, including loose leaf notebook paper, copy and printer paper, graph paper, tracing paper, construction paper, paperboard, notebooks, writing tables, legal pads and more
  • Keep in mind, all of this has to be priced at $20 or less per item.

Clothing priced at less than $100 per item is also exempt. While it’s a great time to stock up on school clothes, those of us who aren’t going back to school can also benefit. Below are some items you may not think of as school clothes that will be tax-free this weekend:

  • Aprons
  • Baby bibs and clothes, receiving blankets and even diapers
  • Bathing suits
  • Corsets and girdles (people still wear those?)
  • Lingerie
  • Nightwear such as pajamas and nightgowns
  • Steel-toed shoes
  • And, yes, even wedding apparel, including veils

Hurricane preparedness items at less than $60, generators and photovoltaic devices at less than $1,000, and chainsaws and their accessories at less than $350 are also tax-free. Here’s a partial list of things you might not think of:

  • Artificial ice and reusable ice packs
  • Most kinds of batteries and chargers, including cellphone chargers
  • Radios
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Coolers
  • Bottled water
  • Bungee cords, rope and paracords
  • First aid kits

It’s also a great time to look for appliances that are EnergyStar or WaterSense qualified and cost less than $2,500 or less. Those will be tax-free, as well.

Happy shopping!