'Sales tax holiday' scheduled this weekend

It’s time for another “back-to-school” state sales tax holiday.

From 12:01 a.m. Friday until midnight Sunday, Missourians don’t have to pay state sales taxes on many back-to-school items, clothes and computers.

Lawmakers created the holiday in 2003 and modified it in 2005.

The law removes the state’s 4.225 percent sales tax on the specified items, and allows local governments and taxing districts to opt-out of the holiday so that their local taxes continue to be charged.

Most Mid-Missouri counties, cities and towns have exercised the opt-out option, so local sales taxes will be charged.

Only three Mid-Missouri counties are taking part in the holiday: Miller, Maries and Gasconade.

Around the state, 49 counties are continuing to charge local taxes, including Cole, Boone, Callaway, Camden, Moniteau, Morgan and Osage counties in Mid-Missouri.

The state Revenue department didn’t list the communities that are waiving their city sales taxes by taking part in the holiday.

Of the 163 cities and towns statewide that have exempted themselves from the holiday and will continue to charge local taxes, 18 are in Mid-Missouri: Jefferson City, Centertown, Taos, Holts Summit, Fulton, Ashland, Bland, California, Camdenton, Chamois, Columbia, Eldon, Kingdom City, Laurie, Meta, Osage Beach, Owensville and St. Elizabeth.

On its website and in a news release issued last week, the revenue department reminds consumers of the items that are included in the tax exemption:

• Clothing that costs no more than $100.

Eligible clothing includes standard items of apparel worn on or about the body, and includes footwear, the department said, and “includes material to make school uniforms or other school clothing.”

“Eligible clothing” does not include accessories such as watches, jewelry, handbags, handkerchiefs, umbrellas, scarves, ties, headbands and belt buckles.

• School supplies, not exceeding $50 per purchase, that are used in a standard classroom for educational purposes, including textbooks, notebooks, paper, pens, pencils, crayons, art supplies, rulers, book bags, backpacks, handheld calculators, chalk, maps and globes.

School supplies do not include CD players, headphones, sporting equipment, portable telephones, copiers or other office equipment.

• Personal computers and peripheral devices that don’t exceed $3,500.

Peripheral devices include items such as a disk drive, memory module, CD drive, microphone, modem, motherboard, mouse, speakers, printer, scanner, sound card or video card.

In addition, computer software is free from sales tax if its value is less than $350.

“The annual sales tax holiday is a perfect opportunity to get some or all of your back-to-school shopping underway and save some money,” acting Revenue Director John Mollenkamp said.

More information can be found on the state's website.

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