It’s a win-win with a back-to-school sales tax holiday

How about a new holiday in Washington state? Not the kind of holiday most of us are accustomed too. This holiday would come in August and be directed towards our children and students. It would ease the burden of paying sales tax on all school supplies under $10, and clothing under $100. Under my proposed legislation, you would mark the second weekend of August on your calendars as the annual “back-to-school” sales tax holiday.

As a father of three kids, I know how expensive it is to get ready to go back to school each year. According to the National Retail Federation, the average American family, with kids in grades K-12, spends roughly $650 each year on school supplies. Implementing a sales tax holiday would immediately put money back into the pockets of working families.

A sales tax holiday not only benefits our children going back to school, it also helps our businesses. It is a great way to keep shopping local and within state borders. It alleviates the need for people to cross the border into Oregon to eliminate paying sales tax. You would be able to stay local and help boost your local economy. The value of a sales tax holiday benefits business and gives back to taxpayers.

This is not a new concept. In fact, it has been around for decades. Washington state needs to become the leader on the west coast and join the other 17 states nationwide that participate in this sales tax holiday. Let’s send a clear message that nothing is more important than making sure children have what they need to be successful in school, and that we value the hard-earned dollars of our taxpayers.


State Representative Morgan Irwin, 31st Legislative District
430 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7866 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000