Dishwashers, chainsaws, school supplies tax-free Aug. 5 to 7

Samsung 4.8 cubic-foot washer, currently priced for $719 at the Best Buy at 217 Independence Blvd. (Courtesy of
Samsung 4.8 cubic-foot washer, currently priced for $719 at the Best Buy at 217 Independence Blvd. (Courtesy of

Virginia residents can soon buy smoke detectors, backpacks and Energy Star washing machines with no added sales tax.

The state’s sales tax holiday, August 5 to 7, is a three-day window for shoppers to purchase school supplies, hurricane and emergency supplies, and Energy Star and WaterSense products with no sales tax. Last year, the Virginia Department of Taxation combined the three categories into one three-day weekend, instead of three separate holidays, as had been done previously.

The  general sales tax rate for Virginia is 5.3 percent – this is made up of a 4.3 percent state tax and 1 percent city tax.

School supplies include backpacks, tape, highlighters, rulers and scissors, so long as each item sells for $20 or less. Computers are not eligible. Clothes are included in the tax-free weekend, if the sales price per item is $100 or less. Sporting equipment and athletic footwear are not included.

Hurricane and emergency supplies include ice packs, lanterns, two-way radios, fire extinguishers and tarps selling for $60 or less. Portable generators and power cables that sell for $1,000 or less are also eligible, as are gas-powered chainsaws priced at $350 or less.

Virginia Beach residents looking to save money on Energy Star products could save about $40 on a washer, based on the price of a Samsung 4.8 cubic-foot washer at the Best Buy at 217 Independence Blvd.

The electronics store reported the machine to be $719 before taxes and $763 afterward.

Energy Star ceiling fans, washing machines, dishwashers and refrigerators priced at $2,500 or less are eligible during the weekend. So are WaterSense bathroom faucets, toilets and urinals selling for $2,500 or less.

A complete list of eligible products can be found here.

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