Shop tax-free for school supplies this weekend

With the uncertainty of returning to school - in person or virtually - one thing that hasn't changed this year: the tax-free holiday weekend.
Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 6:53 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Nothing about this school year is going to feel "normal" for students. And the store manager at the Meijer on Central Avenue says that even those supply lists are a little different this year.

“It’s much different this year with things changing daily and kids going back or not,” says Meijer store manager Steve Krout. And for students like Seth, that means a tougher time learning. “It’s kind of harder than going to class… It’s harder to pay attention and focus.” Seth and his mom stopped at Meijer Friday, on the first day of the tax-free weekend.

Krout says that many items are in higher demand this year that can help cut down on the struggle to focus.

“A couple of things that we’re seeing a little bit more of a lift on are whiteboards, folks are using those at home a lot more,” he says. “{and} headphones, you have multiple children at home doing their classes online.”

Krout says he’s still seeing demand for the traditional school supplies, too, like notebooks, pens, calculators, and clothes. “If it’s any clothing that costs less than $75 it’s tax-free, and any school supply item $20 or less is tax-free as well,” he explains.

Because laptops and tablets cost more than $20, he’s reminding shoppers that they are not part of the sales tax exemption. But Krout says there has been an uptick in demand for these items. “We have seen an increase in electronics and especially the tablets that we carry. And also all the accessories that go with them any electronics department such as headphones and any other types of adapters that they may need for charging.”

Not included in the tax-free holiday: cleaning supplies.

“Those are very high demand items, and you usually see those on the back to school lists when kids are going back to school anyway. But with this year’s pandemic, we’ve seen an increase in sales, obviously, and it’s been hard for manufacturers to keep up with,” he tells 13abc. “So, as soon as we get them in, we stock them up. First thing in the morning, they are available when we get them in.”

Krout says the sales-tax exemption will also apply if you buy your school supplies online. And if masks are on your shopping list, Meijer carries them. Also, through September, teachers receive an additional 15% off their school supplies at all 40 Meijer stores across the state.

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