Tax-Free Weekend benefits Roanoke business, with a catch

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Virginia Tax-Free Weekend continues until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, which means on certain items, you can skip the sales tax. One Roanoke store owner says, while he appreciates the effort, the benefit has lost some of its appeal over the past few years.

“Yeah, pretty busy! Tax-free weekend is always just- august is a busier month for us,” said Blaine Lewis, who owns Fleet Feet in Roanoke.

The monetary holiday comes at the perfect time for his store, overlapping with both back-to-school shopping and the beginning of the Fall sports season

He says his staff is ready for the rush. His store sells shoes and running apparel, both eligible for free sales tax during the weekend.

Mary Whelchel says it helped push her to get more than just a pair of running shoes.

“Yeah I’ve got the whole family, and we’re going to suit everybody up with shoes and we’re heading over to get some school supplies,” she said.

Despite the savings, Lewis says there’s a catch: qualifying clothing and footwear must be $100 or less per item, a figure he says hasn’t kept pace with inflation.

He says Fleet Feet chooses to pay the difference for ineligible items in order to keep customers coming through the door.

“We support tax-free weekend – the fact that a lot of things we have don’t qualify, and for it to still hopefully incentivize people to come out and shop with us this weekend as well,” he said.

To see a full list of qualifying items, click here.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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