Effective July 1, 2015, all three of Virginia’s Sales Tax holidays will be consolidated into one. The combined tax holiday will be held from August 7 – 9, 2015 and will apply to items previously covered in the Hurricane Preparedness, Back to School, and Energy Star/Water Sense Tax Holidays.

Items that are required to be tax free during this three day holiday include:
- School supplies ($20 or less), clothing and footwear ($100 or less)
- Energy Star and WaterSense items ($2,500 or less)
- Hurricane and emergency equipment (portable generators $1,000 or less and many more items)

Note** If you sell products or services that fall into the above categories, you are required to participate in this state Tax Holiday.

For more information on the May Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, and the combined Sales Tax Holiday in August, visit the Virginia Department of Taxation website at www.tax.virginia.gov.

Contact a member of our lobbying team with any questions.

EFairness/Internet Sales Tax legislation provides the opportunity for states to implement sales tax collection for internet sales. The tax reporting requirement is already in place, it is NOT a new tax. Although, the majority of consumers do not report it.

Retail Merchants Association (RMA) and Retail Alliance (RA) members have provided valuable and effective messages through the media, as well as during visits with Congressional representatives.

RA and RMA member media publications:
E-fairness enforce existing law equally >>
Today’s top opinion online sales taxing questions >>
Gary Weiner's Commentary: did you pay state sales tax on that internet purchase? >>
OpEd submitted to the RTD by Jeff Wells, Fleet Feet, RMA member >>
Gas prices could rise after failure of sales tax legislation, RTD article featuring Lisa McSherry and VRF >>

Detailed information about EFairness/Internet Sales Tax legislation is available on the Stand With Main Street website:  standwithmainstreet.com.

The Virginia WIC Program is holding mandatory training sessions for retailers during August and September, 2014. Existing Retailer Agreements with the VA WIC Program expire as of September 30, 2014.  To qualify for authorization under the new Retailer Agreement, all stores must send at least one store management representative to a mandatory training session.  For more information, click here

If you have questions, contact Sheila Brewer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 804.864.7810.

2014 Legislative Summary
March 26, 2014

Increase of the Felony Threshold for Larceny

-Bills were introduced in the House and Senate to increase the threshold for felony larceny from $200 to $500. 

-The House bill was defeated in sub-committee by a voice vote

-The Senate bill was carried over for the year so it will be an issue for the 2015 General Assembly Session

Patent Reform

-HB 375 and SB 150 address the assertions made in bad faith by patent companies who allege that businesses are using their patented programs, such as ATM machines and scanning/faxing documents, without paying fees.

-These bills are now before the Governor for his signature

Consumer Tax on Plastic and Paper Bags

-Two bills were introduced to enact a 5% consumer tax on all plastic and paper bags. 

-The House bill was defeated in sub-committee by a voice vote.

-The Senate bill was defeated in full committee.

-The VRF team actively represented our members by opposing these bills.  In addition to the regulatory and administrative burden this tax would place upon the retailers, the VRF supports and encourages recycling opportunities.

Workers Compensation Regulation

-HB 946 was introduced at the request of the business community to develop a fee schedule for medical care services under the Workers Compensation Act.

-Many businesses report exorbitant fees, which increase the business premiums.

-The committee carried this over for the year so it will be an issue for the 2015 General Assembly Session

-Another bill, which was not as extensive as HB 946, passed both bodies and is before the Governor for approval.

School Calendar Bills

-Several school calendar bills were introduced in the house with regard to this issue. 

-Most requested for localities to have the option to begin school prior to the Labor Day Weekend.

-Three bills passed the House, but were defeated in the Senate

-All three had the same common goal, giving localities control of setting the school start date, however they have different ways of reaching this goal

-A study was conducted by the University of Minnesota and has been a valuable tool in our efforts to fight this legislation. The study shows the negative economic impact to the tourism and retail industries of opening schools prior to Labor Day.

-The VRF continues to maintain its opposition to these bills because of their impact on our members.

Minimum Wage Increase

-Two bills were introduced in the House and one was introduced in the Senate.

-HB 536 increased the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.25 in July 2014 and $9.25 in July 2015.

-HB 32 increased the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 in July 2014.

-All three bills were defeated in their respective bodies

Sales Tax Holiday

-HB 960 addressed the August Sales Tax Holiday.

-The bill reduced the allowance for both clothing and shoes from $100 to $65 in order to add computers at $500 or less and keep the impact revenue neutral

-The VRF opposed the bill and it was defeated once it made it over to the Senate.

“Safe Days” Legislation

-Legislation was introduced which would require private employers to allow an employee safe days, with pay, if the employee is a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault.

-While we understand the purpose behind the legislation, the VRF opposed this legislation because it mandated paid time off which could have a negative impact on our members.

-This bill was defeated in House sub-committee.


-VRF is continuing to work on this issue

-Delegate Lee Ware was to write a letter to the Speaker of the House and ask for this issue to be turned over to the House Finance Committee

School Supplies & Clothing:
August Sales Tax Holiday

August 1-3, 2014

Retailers are reminded that the "Back to School" August Sales Tax Holiday will take place August 1-3, 2014.

All merchants are required to participate in this sales tax holiday on exempt items.

The following items will be exempt from Virginia State Sales Tax (generally 5.3%):

  • School supplies priced at $20 or less
  • Clothing (and footwear) priced at $100 or less


Retailers are also able to absorb the sales tax on other items sold during this time, providing the consumer extra savings.
However, for these non-exempt items, retailers must remit this tax to the Commonwealth.

Click here to see the full list of eligible items exempt from sales tax.
You can also visit the Virginia Department of Taxation's website for more details.

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