Families flocked to Short Pump Town Center on Sunday afternoon to take advantage of the sales tax holiday.
Saxon Shoes, a locally owned store in the shopping mall, was buzzing over the weekend — especially in the children’s section.
Parents wrangled their kids and helped measure feet as children stomped around in light-up shoes and talked about what they’ll wear on the first day of school.
Anna Lynch, store manager at Saxon Shoes, described the children’s section over the weekend as “craziness,” and said most people who shopped came in with the intention of saving a few dollars during the tax holiday.
In most Virginia localities, the sales tax rate is 5.3%. A few localities in Hampton Roads have a sales tax rate of 7%, and eight localities in the Richmond region have a sales tax of 6%. In Henrico County, where Short Pump Town Center is located, a $50 pair of shoes would normally incur a sales tax of $3.
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The sales tax holiday, which ran from Friday to Sunday, applied to school supplies, clothing and footwear as well as some emergency preparedness items.
Ian Stine of Hampton Roads, who shopped with his daughter and family at Saxon Shoes on Sunday, said that while the sales tax holiday isn’t a huge incentive, it makes sense to take advantage of it before the school year begins.
The sales tax holiday didn’t generate its usual crowd last year while COVID-19 cases surged before the school year, Lynch said. This year’s edition was the first that has been as busy as those that occurred pre-pandemic, she said.
When Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced the sales tax holiday on Thursday, he said it would bring some needed tax relief to Virginians during a time of high inflation and gas prices.
“Our administration will continue to stand up for parents trying to buy school supplies for their children, Virginians preparing for upcoming weather-related events, and families struggling with the cost-of-living challenges,” Youngkin said in a statement. “Building on the record tax relief for Virginians in this year’s budget, lowering the cost of living remains a top priority for my administration as we work together to make Virginia the best place to live, work, and raise a family.”