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Wisconsin Considers 2016 Sales Tax Holiday


 Many school supplies would be exempt if Wisconsin enacts sales tax holiday legislation.

Legislation seeking to create a 2016 sales tax holiday is currently under consideration by Wisconsin lawmakers. The bill would exempt certain clothing, computers, and school supplies during a two-day period beginning the first Saturday in August and concluding the following Sunday. Wisconsin legislators have not approved proposed sales tax holidays in recent years.

During the tax-free period, the following items would be exempt from Wisconsin state and local sales and use taxes:

  • Clothing (not clothing accessories) with a sales price of no more than $75 per item
  • Computer (purchased for personal use) with a sales price of no more than $2,000
  • School computer supplies with a sales price of no more than $250 per item
  • School instructional materials with a sales price of no more than $300 per item
  • School supplies with a sales price of no more than $75 per item

In addition to establishing the above criteria, the bill stipulates that “the exemption does not apply in any year in which the Department of Revenue determines, by May 1, that the state’s financial situation would make implementation of the exemption imprudent.”

Pros and cons of the bill are still being weighed but the Joint Committee of Tax Exemptions approved it 7 to 1. The Committee estimates the sales tax holiday would reduce state sales tax revenue by a total of $13.22 million annually; local sales tax revenue would decrease by approximately $952,000 annually.

See the text of AB 781 (or SB 627) for a more complete list of qualifying and non-qualifying products.

More than a dozen states are providing sales tax holidays in 2016. Sales tax software (SaaS) helps businesses comply with them. Learn how it works.


Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.