Is it already time to go back to school? I was strolling through Target and the area that is normally reserved for patio and backyard enhancements was all back-to-school supplies. The crazy part is that it was packed full of parents getting their kids whatever they could. I have no need for back-to-school supplies but I do love a nice set of pens. So I strolled through and at first, I thought it was just me that thought the prices had skyrocketed. However, I always think prices are much higher than they should be unless if I'm paying for food at a restaurant of course.

According to The Shreveport Times, Louisiana's parents are getting hit hard at the checkout line when it comes to back-to-school shopping. Why are parents' wallets feeling all the pain? We can thank rising inflation and the highest sales tax rate in the nation. Remember when Louisiana would give parents a helping hand with the sales tax holidays? Those days are long gone at least up until 2025. We can thank the Louisiana Legislature and our serious budget crisis for that.

Keith Jelinek, with Berkeley Research Group, told USA Today, that we should all expect to see up to a 15% increase when it comes to back-to-school shopping. The other part that made me wince is that he expects there to be a shortage of back-to-school supplies like backpacks, shoes, and even some stationery items.

According to USA Today, "Families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend an average of $848.90 on school items, which is $59 more than last year." Wait, parents are spending nearly $1,000 just to send their kids back to school? Last year parents were scrambling to find desks and computers so their kids could go to school virtually. Total back-to-school spending is expected to reach a record $37.1 billion, up from $33.9 billion last year, the survey of more than 7,700 consumers showed.

According to the Tax Foundation, Louisiana has the highest combined sales tax rate in the country. So expect back-to-school supplies to be at an all-time high in Louisiana.

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Using March 2019 data from the Social Security Administration, Stacker compiled a list of the most popular names in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C., according to their 2018 SSA rankings. The top five boy names and top five girl names are listed for each state, as well as the number of babies born in 2018 with that name. Historically common names like Michael only made the top five in three states, while the less common name Harper ranks in the top five for 22 states.

Curious what names are trending in your home state? Keep reading to see if your name made the top five -- or to find inspiration for naming your baby.

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