Here’s the deal

Published 8:53 am Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It isn’t often that our government gives us a (semi-)free pass, so we should take advantage when one is so generously offered.

This weekend, shoppers will be able to buy certain items, specifically clothes and school supplies, without paying the usual 5-percent state sales tax.

Following legislation enacted in the 2007 Virginia General Assembly, the state now has three annual sales tax holidays — the other two for hurricane preparedness and Energy Star products.

This weekend’s holiday is particularly exciting because of its scope.

Though we question some of the acceptable items on the eligible-for-exemption list (Garter belts? Wedding apparel? Diapers? Fur coats?), we can’t argue with the logic that now is the time to give the average consumer a little shopping break for the necessary back-to-school items in their carts.

Sadly, the economy has started to wipe out a few of these promotions, including in Massachusetts and Florida.

Neighboring states Maryland and the District of Columbia, which usually hold back-to-school tax-free holidays, aren’t this year because of concerns about lost revenue.

Many states are suffering under budget constraints and plummeting sales tax revenue, but we are thankful for the ones that continue to allow citizens to have their one-day shopping bonanzas and save a little money.

Now let’s hope we shoppers are out in droves buying necessities — and spending money locally while we’re at it.