First tax-free weekend underway in Tennessee amid pandemic

Back to School

TENNESSEE (WJHL)- Friday is the first day of the the first tax-free weekend in Tennessee.

This year, Tennessee has two tax-free weekends; one runs from July 31 through August 2 and the second tax-free weekend will be August 7 through August 9.

The Tennessee General Assembly has approved the two separate tax free weekends for this year and has added several additional items to be tax exempt this year.

The first weekend will focus on back to school items like clothing, electronics, school and art supplies.

The second tax-free weekend will focus on restaurants.

School is going to look different this year as both teachers and students focus on social distancing and less time in the classroom.

Tax-free weekend will also look different for a lot of shoppers as online shopping, in-store and curbside pickup have been highly encouraged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whether you are shopping online or in stores here is a list of items that are tax exempt:

$200 or less

  • Clothing
  • Shoes
  • School and art supplies
  • Binders
  • Books
  • Backpacks
  • Crayons
  • Paper
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Rulers
  • Glazes/clay/paints
  • Drawing pads
  • Artist paintbrushes

$3,000 or less

  • Computers
  • Tablets
  • Smartphones
  • Electronic readers 
  • Televisions
  • Video game consoles

Best Buy says when it comes to electronics, they are making sure customers are able to test out the products before they buy, and the company has extra cleaning measures in place.

“We’re definitely still allowing that and still encouraging customers to do so. Every associate after they assisted customers in a certain area, the different area that the customer has interacted with and they demo we go through and sanitize those areas as soon as they’re done,” said Ed Zabel, the Assistant Store Manager at the Best Buy location on Peoples Street in Johnson City.

If you decide to go to the store this weekend instead of doing your shopping online, remmber that all Northeast Tennessee counties have a mask mandate.

“The different procedures that we’re falling right now is obviously going to be that social distancing that’s mandatory for all of our employees to wear masks now,” said Graham Fail, Sales Manager at Academy Sports and Outdoors, “We’re taking extra time during the mornings with some professional cleaning, making sure everything is sanitized and we have masks available for the customers upfront if they wish to do so.”

Many stores have their own mask and social distancing requirements as well.

Best Buy is one of those stores requiring masks for all customers.

They are also taking extra precautions with their employees with doing daily health screenings according to Zebel.

“Our employees go through a health and safety check every morning when they come through the building. Make sure that they haven’t been anywhere that they might’ve been exposed and check our temperatures and things of that nature,” Zebel said.

Items that are NOT tax exempt are as followed:

  • Jewelry
  • Handbags
  • Sports and recreational equipment
  • Storage media, like flash drives and compact discs
  • Individually purchased software
  • Printer supplies
  • Household appliances

Some places like Academy Sports are placing special discounts on items that are not tax expempt.

Academy Sports + Outdoors will have the following discounts:

  • 25% off select Nike footwear, apparel, and backpacks
  • 25% off select Under Armour apparel
  • Up to 25% off select footwear from brands like Under Armour, Asics, New Balance, and Puma
  • 25% off Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour backpacks and lunch kits
  • 25% off select men’s, woman’s, and kids athletic apparel and footwear
  • Deals on cleats, mouth guards, receiver gloves and other football equipment 

Those discounts will last until Sunday.

 “We’re also doing a 10% discount for first responders and military,” said Fair, “A lot of people on the front lines we want to show our appreciation for.”

For more information on select store discounts it is suggested you visit the store website.

You can also find more details on Tennessee’s tax free weekend here.

As for Virginia’s tax-free weekend, it is scheduled for August 7 through August 9.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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