When to shop in Texas, Massachusetts and Maryland

When to shop in Texas, Massachusetts and Maryland

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With the summer more than halfway done, parents everywhere have one thing on their minds: back-to-school shopping.
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The back-to-school shopping spree continues.

Three more states – Texas, Maryland and Massachusetts – will offer residents a tax break in time for the new school year.

Texas is up first and will hold a three-day holiday Friday through Sunday. This is the third tax holiday of the year for the Lone Star State, which had a hurricane supply holiday in April and an appliance holiday in May.

The round of sales tax holidays, also known as tax-free weekends, comes less than a week after 10 states offered similar savings. Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin held their holidays earlier this month.

More: Back-to-school shopping! Tips to save you time, money and your sanity

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More: Back-to-school traditions that parents will love and kids will cherish forever

Massachusetts’ holiday is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday and is a tax break on the first $2,500 of most purchases. Gov. Charlie Baker signed the state’s economic development bill Friday, hours ahead of the holiday.

Maryland shoppers have a whole week to shop tax-free starting Sunday and running through Aug. 18. Connecticut starts its week-long holiday Aug. 19.

Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon don’t need a sales tax holiday to help get ready for the new school year. These states don’t have a state sales tax rate.

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Budgeting for back to school season could save you a lot of money in the short run and set an example for your children in the long run.
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Sales tax holidays

Texas

Dates: Friday through Sunday, Aug. 10-12

State tax rate: 6.25 percent

What’s tax-free: Clothing, backpacks and school supplies, less than $100

Exclusions: Accessories, athletic equipment, protective equipment, computers, software and textbooks.

Full list: https://comptroller.texas.gov

Massachusetts

Dates: Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 11-12

State tax rate: 6.25 percent

What’s tax-free: Almost everything.

Exclusions: Tobacco or marijuana products, gas, electricity, cars, boats, meals and items costing more than $2,500. In Massachusetts, there is no sales tax on clothes under $175. 

More info: The state legislature approved the holiday on Aug. 1 and Gov. Charlie Baker signed the state economic development bill approving the holiday Friday.

Draft list: www.mass.gov

Maryland

Dates: Sunday through Aug. 18

State tax rate: 6 percent

What’s tax-free:

  • Clothing and footwear, up to $100
  • First $40 of a backpack or bookbag purchase

Exclusions: Accessories, sports equipment, protective equipment and sewing materials.

Full list: http://taxes.marylandtaxes.gov

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Helping teachers can help ensure your kids get the best out of their school experience.
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Connecticut

Dates: Aug. 19-25

State tax rate: 6.35 percent

What’s tax-free: Clothing and footwear, less than $100

Exclusions: Sports uniforms, safety apparel and clothing accessories.

Full list: www.ct.gov/drs

Kelly Tyko is a consumer columnist and retail reporter for Treasure Coast Newspapers and TCPalm.com, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK. Read her Bargainista tips at TCPalm.com/Bargainista, follow her on Twitter @KellyTyko and email her at kelly.tyko@tcpalm.com. Sign up for her weekly newsletter at www.tcpalm.com/featured-newsletter/bargainistabest

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