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Families gear up for tax free shopping in Wisconsin

Back-to-School shopping can take a bite out of your wallet. The National Retail Federation reports families will spend on average $685 and even more for students heading to college.

When students head back to school, pencils and paper won’t be the only thing on the list. New clothes, shoes and backpacks are among the other hot buying items and the total climbs.

"Especially when you’ve got a teenager in the house right now," Shayn Green said. "It is quite substantial."

Governor Scott Walker stopped by Kohl’s in Onalaska to spread awareness about the Back-to-School Tax Holiday, new this year from a law signed in April where many back to school items are tax free.

"This is on computers, computer supplies and school supplies," Walker explained. 

Wisconsin shoppers will reap the benefits of a revenue surplus, fostering the idea of the tax free days. Walker says in year’s past, some would travel out of state to shop.

"We actually think it will have the reverse effect where people will come over, not just to buy their clothing for this week, but to buy a whole bunch of other things," Walker said.

Based on the average spending for school, Walker says families could expect $35 or more in savings. Something Green says adds up.

"We have extra money. We can go out to eat. Mom can have a night off," she joked.

The state set aside $14.8 million for the holiday. Currently it’s only in place for this year, but it’s something the state could see again.

"We think realistically it will come closer to probably breaking even. But even at that if it does just that, we’d love to keep it going," Walker added.

Green hopes it’s successful and glad it’s on a number of items she’s looking to buy.

"That’ll be wonderful. Especially since I think we’re getting another IPad," she finished.

The sales tax holiday does have it’s limits and some items are exempt from the sale. For full details on the holiday visit the Department of Revenue’s website.


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