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Connecticut’s tax-free week not so free for some interesting items

Connecticut’s annual sales-tax-free week kicks off August 21, just in time for annual back-to-school shopping for families looking to purchase clothing, footwear and other apparel for less than $100 per item.

The annual event gives people a sales tax break on purchases. This upcoming week is the second such holiday-week this year, after the state held a tax-free week in April, courtesy of American Rescue Plan dollars.

While most typical clothing and footwear items purchased for less than $100 are exempt from Connecticut’s 6.35 percent sales tax, other items are not so lucky.

Lobster bibs, athletic supporters, wet suits, jewelry and party costumes are among the items listed by the Department of Revenue Services as still being taxed regardless of price. If you’re in the market for shoes specific to ballet, bowling, football, golf or tap dancing you’re also out of luck.

Sports uniforms are not exempt during the tax-free week, nor are umbrellas, purses and wallets. 

Also, if you’re looking to make your purchases online, you’re also out of luck again as the holiday does not apply to phone, mail or internet purchases.

The week-long sales tax holiday comes as Connecticut’s sales tax revenue has surged on the back of inflation, which has driven up the cost of just about everything, rising from an estimated $4.4 billion in November of 2021 to $4.7 billion, according to the May 2022 consensus revenue estimates.

It also comes amidst Connecticut’s gasoline tax holiday, suspending the states twenty-five cent gasoline excise tax until November 30, 2022.

Connecticut is one of 17 states holding the week-long tax break this year, according to the Tax Foundation, which points out that some states like Georgia and North Carolina decided the holiday wasn’t worth it and canceled them. 

While Connecticut’s sales tax holiday begins this Sunday, if you’re in the market for ski apparel, goggles, potholders or riding pants, there’s no need to wait because you’ll still have to pay the tax.

For a full list of what is and is not exempt during tax-free week, check here.

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Marc E. Fitch, Senior Investigative Reporter

Marc E. Fitch

Marc worked as an investigative reporter for Yankee Institute and was a 2014 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow. He previously worked in the field of mental health is the author of several books and novels, along with numerous freelance reporting jobs and publications. Marc has a Master of Fine Arts degree from Western Connecticut State University.

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