As families prepare to send their little ones back to school, they’re heading to malls, big box stores, and other retailers to fill their backpacks and closets. While many companies offer deals and programs targeting back-to-school season — we’re looking at you Target — many states are also offering their own deals in the way of sales tax-free weekends.
Although these holidays have been popular with shoppers, they haven’t exactly proven to be an economic stimulus.
In fact, The Pew Charitable Trusts reports that some states’ sales tax holidays have lost their luster.
The holidays — which apply only to certain items like clothing, school supplies, or tools — tend to cause an increase in shopping, but because these shopping sprees don’t include sales tax, states aren’t benefiting.
The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy estimated that states lost $300 million due to sales tax holidays in 2016.
In Georgia, where the state recently scrapped its tax-free holiday, Georgia State University researchers estimate the state lost $24 million in taxes last year.
Despite the often meager savings for shoppers, many retailers have continued to advocate for the tax-free holidays, arguing that the weekends help level the playing between bricks-and-mortar retailers and those doing business online, which are often tax exempt, Pew reports.
Although more states have ditched the sales tax holidays, there are still plenty offering the deals.
Here are the 16 states with tax-free holidays:
|Alabama||Feb. 24 to Feb. 26;
July 21 to July 23
|February: Hurricane preparedness generators and supplies.
July: Clothing, computers, school supplies, and books
|Arkansas||Aug. 5 to Aug. 6||Clothing and School Supplies|
|Connecticut||Aug. 20 to Aug. 26||Clothing and footwear|
|Florida||June 2 to June 4;
Aug. 4 to Aug. 6
|June: Disaster preparedness generators, batteries, fuel containers, and flashlights.
August: Clothing, supplies, and computers.
|Iowa||Aug. 4 to Aug. 5||Clothing|
|Louisiana||May 27 to May 28;
Aug. 4 to Aug. 5
|May: Hurricane preparedness supplies.
August: Tangible personal property
|Maryland||Feb. 18 to Feb. 20;
Aug. .13 to Aug. 19
|February: Energy star products.
August: Clothing and footwear
|Mississippi||July 28 to July 29||Clothing and footwear|
|Missouri||April 19 to April 25;
Aug. 4 to Aug. 6
|April: Energy star products.
August: Clothing, computers, and school supplies.
|New Mexico||Aug. 4 to Aug. 6||Clothing, computers, computer equipment, and school supplies|
|Ohio||Aug. 4 to Aug. 6||Clothing and school supplies|
|Oklahoma||Aug. 4 to Aug. 6||Clothing|
|South Carolina||Aug. 4 to Aug. 6||Clothing, school supplies, computers, and other|
|Tennessee||July 28 to July 30||Clothing, school supplies and computers|
|Texas||April 22 to April 24;
May 27 to May 29;
Aug. 11 to Aug. 13
|April: Generators, storm devices, preparedness items;
May: Energy star products and air conditioners;
August: Clothing, backpacks, and school supplies
|Virginia||Aug. 4 to Aug. 6||Clothing, school supplies, energy star products, hurricane preparedness items, and generators|
Data from Federation of Tax Administrators