August 4, 2005

Back-to-School Shoppers To Enjoy Sales Tax Holiday

The summer vacation is beginning to wind down and school will begin in just a few weeks. But the City of Memphis and Scotland County will be joining together with the State of Missouri to offer one last break for local shoppers.
The three entities will once again wave all their income from the marketing of back-to-school goods during the Sales Tax Holiday August 5-7.
During the three-day tax-free holiday, everyone who shops in the state of Missouri can forgo paying state sales tax, about 4.225%, on the following items:
¨ Clothing – any article having a taxable value of $100 or less (any article of wearing apparel, including footwear - shall not include watches, watchbands, jewelry, handbags, handkerchiefs, umbrellas, scarves, ties, headbands, or belt buckles.)
¨ Computer software – taxable value of $350 or less per purchase
¨ Personal computers – not to exceed $3,500
¨ Computer peripheral devices – not to exceed $3,500
¨ School supplies – not to exceed $50 per purchase (any item normally used by students in a standard classroom for educational purposes, including but not limited to, textbooks, notebooks, paper, writing instruments, crayons, art supplies, rulers, book bags, backpacks, handheld calculators, chalk, maps, and globes. The term shall not include watches, radios, CD players, headphones, sporting equipment, portable or desktop telephones, copiers or other office equipment, furniture, or fixtures.)
“Remember, this is limited to $50 per purchase, so parents may want to pay for each child’s supplies one at a time,” said Missouri State Senator John Cauthorn. “By planning ahead, consumers can save substantial amounts of money when shopping for their child’s back to school needs. New school clothes, supplies, and computers can make quite a dent in the family budget every year. This is a great opportunity to save a little bit of your hard earned money.”
Shoppers that stay at home will get the added benefit of not paying any county or city sales tax. Buyers will not have to pay the 1-percent City of Memphis sales tax or the 1.25-percent county sales tax.
A total off 66 of the state’s 114 counties voted to opt out of the sales tax holiday and continue to collect sales tax. Similarly, more than 100 cities across the state have elected not to participate in the holiday.
“Some cities and counties have ‘opted out’ of the holiday, meaning their local taxes may still apply,” commented Cauthorn.
That means if you go to buy your back-to-school supplies in Kirksville or Columbia, you will have to pay both the city and county sales tax.
“Nonetheless, every dollar counts and forgoing the four percent state sales tax on purchases can truly add up for Missouri shoppers,” said Cauthorn. “I urge you to take advantage of this great opportunity from August 5-7.”
Locally you will save 6.475 percent on qualifying purchases thanks to the sales tax holiday participation at the state, county and city level.
Last year was the pilot program of the Sales Tax Holiday, which became permanent during the 2005 legislative session.

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