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No, North Carolina does not have a sales-tax-free weekend this year

Misleading posts online claimed families could get school supplies tax-free at the end of July. North Carolina ditched those tax holidays years ago.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — A misleading post is raising questions among parents online.

Inflation hit 8.6 percent in May and forecasters believe it could be a similar increase for June. The report comes out next week.

It comes as many families prepare for school shopping where they could face higher prices for supplies.

An online post claims our state has a sales-tax-free weekend at the end of the month. The truth is that lawmakers got rid of it years ago. Some parents are wondering where it went.

THE QUESTION

Is it possible to bring back North Carolina's sales-tax-free weekend?

THE SOURCES

  • State Representative Jon Hardister (R), District 59
  • State Representative Pricey Harrison (D), District 61
  • State Senator Michael Garrett (D), District 27

THE ANSWER

Yes, but it's not likely to happen soon.

Democrats believe it may be hard to bring a sales-tax-free weekend back with Republicans in leadership. Hardister said he'd consider it but believes taxpayers are better served by other existing tax breaks.

WHAT WE FOUND

Let's step back in time to 2013. That was the last time our state had a sales-tax-free weekend. Republican state lawmakers got rid of it along with other tax breaks to simplify tax rules.

Neighboring states still have it and Harrison said people go there to save.

"One problem is people who live in border counties end up going across the border to the tax breaks in Tennessee, Virginia and South Carolina which is not helping our retailers," Harrison said.

Hardister said he's not bothered by that. People coming here when we had our sales-tax-free weekend was a reason to get rid of it.

"It's not just North Carolinians paying that sales tax, it's people from out of state that are paying that," Hardister said. "When we had a tax-free weekend, that's when a lot of tourists would plan to come here and spend a lot of money and we wouldn't get any of that revenue."

Democrats in the state legislature have tried to bring the sales-tax-free weekend back over the years. Garrett sponsored SB 851 in this year's session amid rising inflation and with a state budget surplus.

"I think it's something we had within our ability to pass this session," Garrett said. "We had the ability to afford it, we have that $6 billion surplus. I'm always a fan of returning some of those dollars back to taxpayers."

Hardister said a tax holiday would be a temporary solution and republicans believe the tax changes they've made are working.

"We more than made up for it by drastically increasing the child tax credit including an additional $500 tax credit that was enacted last year. If you have kids in school, that's a major benefit for your family," Hardister said.

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