Sales Tax Holiday in W.Va. this weekend could help struggling families

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — This weekend’s Sales Tax Holiday in West Virginia is expected to benefit a number of state residents who are hoping to save a few dollars amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

“For a family that’s struggling, that can really help,” said Sean O’Leary, a senior analyst with the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.

Sean O’Leary

The holiday runs from Friday to Monday. During that time, consumers will not be charged the state’s six percent sales tax on items like clothes, school supplies, sporting equipment, laptops and tablet computers.

O’Leary said it’s geared toward back-to-school shopping as students prepare to head back to the classroom in a few weeks.

“In general, the sales tax is one of our more aggressive taxes that impacts low income households and families, so this will help them out a little,” he said.

For those who have lost their jobs, it could be a turning point, O’Leary said.

“We just cut off unemployment benefits for thousands of works and have cut off the enhanced $300 benefits, so there are still a lot of people out there who still struggling to get back to work. For them, every dollar counts,” he said.

Meanwhile, small business leaders are hoping the holiday can help with their pandemic recovery.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses account for nearly 99 percent of all businesses in West Virginia and they employ more than 49 percent of the state’s workforce.

The Sales Tax Holiday was held last year through a “formality,” but did not see a positive economic impact that had been seen in previous years.

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