While new sneakers and fresh crayons may ease the pain a little for students dreading the first day of school, mom and dad usually find little relief from those back-to-school bills.
The one exception may be the sales tax holidays that will be offered in at least 17 states this year. These events, 12 of which are happening this weekend, make school purchases a little less expensive.
Although many argue sales tax holidays benefit retailers, states and consumers, several data-heavy studies conclude otherwise.
"The hope is on the part of states that if consumers spend more on back-to-school items than otherwise because of tax cuts, this benefits the broader economy and leads to additional tax revenues elsewhere," said John Lonski, chief economist at Moody's Capital Research Group.