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Back to School Tax Exempt Items Examined

A Column by the Editor
web reposted July 24, 2012
COLUMN – It is that time of year when parents scramble to fulfill the daunting task of gathering the long list of back to school items each school, and in some cases even the teachers, require for a return to class. Pens, paper, pencils, notebook paper, book bags, and other necessary items can add up at the checkout counter so our illustrious leaders in Columbia have seen fit to exclude sales taxes to help lessen the burden. And you know anytime politicians get involved it is going to be hilarious. So I thought I would examine some of the items and how they relate to “back to school”.

Of course the first thing everybody needs to send their little crumb-crunchers back to school is adult diapers. I’m not sure if this is for the kids or the politicians since they are so full of… well, you know.

With the wonderful results “sex education” has had in our school systems, baby diapers and baby clothing are also on the list. I guess those pregnant prom queens need the extra help as they return to school in the fall. And no student’s wardrobe would be complete without their new baby bonnet.

And now that we have babies in the mix, you have to be sure to include that all-important bridal gown. Of course you have to buy it, rentals are still taxed. Oh, veils are also excluded from the tax so go all out with the wedding dress.

Condoms are not on the list, but maybe they should be. If the kids were using them we wouldn’t have to have baby items and bridal gowns added to “back to school” tax exempt items. Just a thought.

Costumes are tax exempt; after all, your student might want to go to school dressed as batman or some other fictional character.

Just as an extra added bonus lawmakers have made ski masks exempt as well. Ski masks? That seems rather nefarious. Bandanas, used more for gang identification than anything else in today's youths, is also tax exempt. Maybe the Democrats can try to push through adding tattoos for next year.

Corsets and laces as well as garters, garter belts, and lingerie are tax exempt. You know, they may be taking this “sex education” thing too far. But, then again, this is your government at work.

Fishing boots are on the list. Okay, as a southern boy I can understand that one. Some of the best fishing is early morning and you may have to leave the pond or creek with your fishing boots on in order to make it to class on time. But it all fairness, deer season comes right after fishing season so shouldn’t camouflage, rifles, and tree stands be included? Okay, to be fair, hunting vests are included - but not bait. I am so confused.

Furs are tax exempt. I want anyone to explain how this one made the list.

Suits, sport jackets, ties, neckwear (yes, even bowties), tuxedos and formal dresses are tax exempt. We all know how important it is to look your best a school. I am always so proud to stop by the office at Strom Thurmond during the school year to see all those students dressed to the nines.

Vitamins and supplements, ever so important to good health, are not exempt. Neither are glasses or eyewear. Forget about purchasing that alarm clock to wake your child up for school, it is taxable.

And if you watch the television news, who are the first people to complain about the sales tax exemption? You guessed it, school officials who say they need the sales tax to support the schools.

Oh well, I could go on but I have to balance our checkbook so I can figure out how to pay for all the junk the schools will be sending home for children to sell throughout the year because that huge chunk of taxes paid at the local, state, and federal level just isn’t enough.

If this is the cost of a “free education” I can’t wait to see the bill for “free” healthcare. I guess if it is run the same way we can expect to see people in need of medical operations hocking wrapping paper and candy bars to pay for their surgery.

Editor's note: This column was originally published August 4, 2011

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