August 3, 2006

Local Shoppers Can Take Advantage Of Sales Tax Holiday August 4th-6th

Missouri parents and teachers soon will have an opportunity to take a much-deserved tax break on back-to-school supplies during the second Missouri Sales Tax Holiday, August 4-6, 2006. Families can purchase clothing and shoes, up to $50 in school supplies and up to $3,850 in computer equipment and software tax free.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been the lead advocate of this policy over the last three years as it has evolved, due to immense public support and the benefits it provides to communities. The Missouri Sales Tax Holiday became an annual event with legislation passed in the 2005 Legislative Session.

“The Missouri Sales Tax Holiday drives sales across the borders, off of the Internet, and into Missouri retailers,” said Jeff Craver, Missouri Chamber tax counsel.

Some cities and counties have voted to “opt out” of the local sales tax exemption, but the Missouri Chamber disagrees with the motive behind that action.

“Some cities and counties view the Missouri Sales Tax Holiday as a potential loss of revenue. The Missouri Chamber sees it as a savings to Missouri families,” said Craver.

All shoppers anywhere in the state of Missouri will qualify for the state exemption (4.225%). Shoppers in many cities and counties will also receive a local sales tax exemption, unless their local officials voted to “opt out” of the holiday.

Leaders in more than 50 counties and 175 municipalities have voted to opt out of the sales tax holiday according tot he Missouri Department of Revenue.

Local shoppers often hit the road to take trips to larger surrounding towns, but there is added incentive to stay home beyond the high gas prices.

Purchases made in Memphis and Scotland County on the eligible items will have zero sales tax. That won’t be the case everywhere. Kirksville and Columbia, other popular destinations, will be exempt from the state sales tax, but shoppers will still pay the county and city sales tax as both entities opted out of the sales tax holiday.

Sales tax exempt items will include:

Clothing priced less than $100 per item. “Clothing” is defined as any article of wearing apparel, including footwear. The term includes, but is not limited to, cloth and other material used to make school uniforms or other school clothing. Items normally sold in pairs may not be separated to qualify for the exemption (in other words, the entire pair of shoes must be less than $100). “Clothing” does not include watches, watchbands, jewelry, handbags, handkerchiefs, umbrellas, scarves, ties, headbands, or belt buckles.

Personal computers priced at $3,500 or less. “Personal computers” include a laptop, desktop, or tower computer system which consists of a central processing unit, random access memory, a storage drive, a display monitor, and a keyboard and devices designed for use in conjunction with a personal computer, such as a disk drive, memory module, compact disk drive, daughter board, digitalizer, microphone, modem, motherboard, mouse, multimedia speaker, printer, scanner, single-user hardware, single-user operating system, soundcard, or video card.

School supplies less than $50 per purchase. “School supplies” include 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 exemption does not include watches, radios, CD players, headphones, sporting equipment, portable or desktop telephones, copiers or other office equipment, furniture, or fixtures. The items do not have to be used for school, they only have to be items normally used by students in a standard classroom setting.

Computer software having a taxable value of $350 or less.

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