Back-to-School Shopping in NJ Just Got Cheaper: Sales Tax Holiday on School Supplies

New Jersey is offering a sales tax holiday for school supply purchases from August 26 to September 4.

family shopping for school supplies
Photo: Shutterstock

If you’re about to buy school supplies for your back-to-schooler and were worried about the cost, there’s some good news because for the second year in a row, New Jersey is offering a sales tax holiday for school supply purchases, including notebooks, pens and pencils.

The tax holiday starts this Saturday and continues for the next 10 days, ending September 4. New Jersey’s sales tax is 6.625%, although clothes and groceries are permanently exempt.

Also included in the sales tax break are computers that cost up to $3,000 (and not used for business), art supplies and sports equipment. School computer supplies that cost less than $1,000 are also exempt under the special holiday.

There is no limit to how many supplies customers may purchase under this program, and anyone can buy them. The sales tax holiday applies to both stores and online outlets.

“Back-to-school excitement can easily turn to stress for both parents and teachers, particularly those who are struggling to make ends meet,” Governor Phil Murphy said in a statement. “We’re committed to making New Jersey more affordable in ways both big and small.”

The tax holiday was created to address concerns about inflation and the high cost of living in New Jersey.

This week, the state also enacted a new law that requires merchants to be transparent about any fees they are passing on to customers who pay with a credit card instead of cash.

In an effort to address “period poverty,” Murphy this week also signed a bill requiring public school districts to provide menstrual products free of charge to girls in grades 6 through 12.

A 2021 study found that one in four American teens struggle to afford these products—girls of color and those from low-income families are especially in need of them.

Murphy said that the stress and stigma for students who could not access menstrual products was potentially distracting them from their classes or forcing them to skip school.

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