GREENSBORO, N.C. -- It's time to get out the back-to-school shopping list, but this year there's one thing that won't be on your list -- a tax break. For the first time in more than ten years, North Carolina will not have a sales tax holiday for back-to-school shopping this weekend. Tax-free weekend would have started at midnight Friday.
State lawmakers passed a tax reform package last year that lowered personal income taxes and corporate income taxes, which means you get a bigger paycheck. But in order to do that, the state got rid of different credits including the sales tax holiday.
Some businesses are holding their own tax-free holiday anyway. SRI Shoe Warehouse will pay the 6.75 percent sales tax this weekend for its customers. Custom Caps, Shirts & More owner David Leipziger said he relies on the tax-free weekend and without it, he's worried.
"It's been huge. It's normally probably 25 percent of our sales the entire summer and you know, not having that this year, I have no idea what to expect," Leipziger said.
If you don't want to pay sales tax this weekend, you could drive to any state that borders North Carolina. Tennessee, Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia are all holding the holiday.
"It's not good for us, people now can get in the car, drive you know an hour to Virginia or an hour and a half to South Carolina, it doesn't make sense why everybody else is doing it and we're not anymore," Leipziger said.
The North Carolina Retail Merchants Association is urging NC shoppers to not cross state lines.
"We hope consumers will take that money that they've saved all year long and again buy those back-to-school purchases in North Carolina," NCRMA President Andy Ellen said.
Ellen said NCRMA supported the tax reform package in hopes it would make the state more economically competitive by lowering the income taxes and putting more money in your wallet. But, he said the tax-free weekend would still benefit both consumers and businesses.
"In the past it was a roughly $13 million in savings for the consumers or $13 million lost supposedly to the state, depending on how you look at it."
Ellen said state could argue it's losing millions in tax revenue by holding a sales tax holiday. Leipziger hopes the state puts the holiday back on the calendar.
"They definitely need to figure out a way to get it you know back for next year if that's an option," he said.
States surround NC still have the Tax Holiday, including South Carolina and Virginia.