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Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

Retailers gear up for sales tax holiday, explain what's included

Sunday, July 30, 2006

(Photo)
J.C. Penney manager William Dickherber sorts through the bookbag display.
SIKESTON -- Shoppers will enjoy a break in taxes Aug. 4-6 as they can purchase clothing and shoes, school supplies and computer equipment during the third annual sales tax holiday weekend.

But shoppers should also be warned: certain items are not tax-free during the holiday.

The sales tax exemption applies to: clothing - any article having a taxable value of $100 or less; school supplies - not to exceed $50 per purchase; computer software - taxable value of $350 or less; personal computers and computer peripheral devices - not to exceed $3,500.

William Dickherber, store manager at J.C. Penney in Sikeston, said one of the items that seems to cause the most confusion is backpacks.

"Backpacks are included, but in different types and divisions," Dickherber said. "If it's a children's backpack, it's included. If it comes from the luggage or handbag department, it's not included."

To help avoid confusion, signs will likely be placed throughout stores, explaining what is included in the holiday sales tax break. Signs will also be posted above merchandise to indicate what is and isn't included at J.C. Penney, Dickherber said.

Clothing consists of any article of wearing apparel including socks and shoes. It also includes cloth or material used to make school uniforms or other school clothing.

"Another item of confusion is belts, which are included in the sales tax holiday, but belt buckles are not," Dickherber said.

Other items not counted as clothing are watches, watchbands, jewelry, handbags, handkerchiefs, umbrellas, scarves, ties and headbands.

Counting as personal computer items are laptop, desktop or tower computer systems and devices used in conjunction with personal computers such as disk drive, memory module, compact disk drive, daughter, printer, scanner, video card, etc.

In addition to the regular classroom items like pens and notebooks, also included are globes. Radios, CD players, headphones, sporting equipment, portable or desktop hones, copiers or other office equipment furniture or fixtures.

Local cities not participating in the holiday are New Madrid and Bloomfield. Stoddard County is also not participating.

In areas where local jurisdictions are not participating in the holiday, purchases will be exempt from state sales tax and only the local jurisdiction's tax will apply.

Store manager Angie Davis said everything -- shoes, socks and backpacks -- in Factory Brand Shoes at Sikeston Factory Outlet Stores is included in the sales tax holiday.

"And anybody can take advantage of the tax break," Davis said.

While the weekend offers an ideal time for shoppers, it can also be pretty hectic for those working, Davis said.

"You just schedule a lot of people to work," Davis said.

But manager at Walgreens in Sikeston said the sales tax weekend is a "pretty normal weekend." Most customers purchase clothing and the general school supplies, she said.

"We might staff a few extra employees," the manager said, adding she's never had any problems with customers understanding the holiday's rules.

Laura Beth Spraggs, personnel assistant for VF Outlet at Sikeston Factory Outlet Stores, said the outlet store has had great success with holiday weekend.

"We will have full representation of both seasons because a lot of people like to buy both summer and fall clothing," Spraggs said.

Dickherber pointed out this will be the first year J.C. Penney's Sikeston location will be able to fully participate in the holiday since New Madrid County will participate for the first time in the weekend. The store is located in Sikeston city limits but in New Madrid County.

"We're glad to participate," Dickherber said. "It's our busiest Saturday. With New Madrid County participating this year, it truly is a tax-free weekend."