10-Day NJ Sales Tax Holiday Coming for School Supplies

School supplies, ranging from pencils to computers, will be tax-free for 10 days in New Jersey, starting Saturday, August 27.

School supplies
New Jersey's 10-day tax holiday on school supplies runs from August 27 through September 5. Photo: Shutterstock/Twin Design

Parents, teachers and students in New Jersey should wait a few days before purchasing back-to-school supplies.

That’s because such items—ranging from pencils to computers—will be tax-free for 10 days in the Garden State, starting Saturday, August 27. The sales tax holiday, which runs through September 5, is part of the $50.6 billion state budget that Governor Phil Murphy signed on July 1.

“Back-to-school shopping can be stressful on its own, but it can be even more stressful for those parents, students, and teachers who are struggling to make ends meet,” Murphy said in a statement. “As inflation remains a central worry, this sales tax holiday is one of the ways in which we are prioritizing affordability for our families. This holiday will cut the cost for the most essential items needed for educational success and help make New Jersey more affordable.”

New Jersey has a 6.625 percent sales tax, but the tax holiday will remove that additional cost for items like pens, pencils, markers, notebooks, art supplies, textbooks, folders, binders and more. Computers with a sales price lower than $3,000 and sports equipment are also subject to the holiday.

A full list of tax-exempt school supplies can be found here. The holiday applies to online and in-store sales.

A number of other states have already had or will have back-to-school sales tax holidays.

In June, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) said in a release from the governor’s office that the average New Jersey family spends over $250 per child on school supplies, while teachers spend about $600 of their own money on such items. Based on the numbers cited, families would save about $16 per child, while educators would save a little less than $40.

The state’s Treasury Department estimates that the tax holiday will cost New Jersey about $75 million in lost revenue, but the state carried a $10.1 billion surplus from tax collections into the new fiscal year.

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