Annual sales tax holiday Aug. 5-7


From Aug. 5-7, you will not pay state sales tax on many items, including a portable generator (under $1,000), a dishwasher with an Energy Star label (under $2,500) or a long list of school supplies, clothing and footwear, which includes some things you may not expect, such as garter belts and corset laces (full list available here).

The Virginia General Assembly recently combined three sales tax holidays into one annual three-day sales tax holiday for qualifying items in these categories:

  • School supplies, clothing and footwear
  • Hurricane and emergency preparedness supplies
  • Items with Energy Star and WaterSense labels

The Aug. 5-7 sales tax holiday includes qualifying items purchased in stores, online, by mail or over the phone. This is a statewide tax holiday.

School Supplies, Clothing and Footwear

In time for back-to-school shopping, most school supplies under $20, as well as many clothes under $100, qualify for the sales tax exemption. A few items on the list include:

  • Binders
  • Bookbags
  • Boots and shoes
  • Coats
  • Calculators
  • Pencils and pens
  • Lunch boxes
  • Socks
  • Sheet music

Hurricane and Emergency Preparedness Supplies

We’re in hurricane season through November (and an emergency can strike at any time), so this is also a good time to stock up on emergency preparedness supplies. Qualifying items are in different price categories so carefully check the state’s list below. You will not pay sales tax on many of these items during the sales tax holiday:

  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Cell phone chargers
  • Bungee cords
  • Tarps
  • Weather radios
  • Power generators (restrictions apply)
  • Chain saws and accessories (restrictions apply)

Items With Energy Star or WaterSense Labels

Need a new air conditioner or washing machine? The sales tax holiday includes qualifying items carrying either the Energy Star or WaterSense label that cost $2,500 or less (and purchased for noncommercial home or personal use). Some items on this list include:

  • Light bulbs
  • Ceiling fans
  • Dishwashers
  • Bathroom sink faucets
  • Toilets
  • Landscape irrigation controllers


About the Author

Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.