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August 1, 2013

Sales Tax Holiday Means Back-to-School Savings in Some Missouri Communities

Missouri's annual sales tax holiday begins on Friday, August. 2nd and runs through Sunday, August 4th. During this time, the state sales tax will not be assessed on certain purchases, including school supplies, personal computers and some clothing. Local governments can also participate in the holiday and increase the savings for shoppers during the holiday.

"The annual sales tax holiday is a perfect opportunity to get some or all of your back-to-school shopping under way and save some money," said John Mollenkamp, acting director of the Missouri Department of Revenue. "When local governments participate in the holiday, the savings can add up to as much as 8 or 9 percent."

The holiday will provide added incentive for consumers to shop locally. Both Scotland County and the City of Memphis will be participating in the tax holiday. That means a 6.475% rate of savings for items bought in Memphis.

The state sales tax will not be charged on the following items during the holiday:

Clothing that does not have a value of more than $100. Eligible clothing includes standard items of apparel worn on or about the body, and includes footwear. It also includes material to make school uniforms or other school clothing. It 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. School supplies include 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 that don't cost more than $3,500 and computer peripheral devices that don't exceed $3,500. A personal computer can be a laptop, desktop or tower computer system which consists of a central processing unit, random access memory, a storage drive, display monitor, keyboard and other related devices. 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. Computer software is considered a school supply and is free from sales tax if its value is less than $350.

The sales tax exemption is commonly referred to as the Back-to-School Sales Tax holiday because it occurs near the beginning of the traditional school year for most students. Any person -- including those who live outside of the state of Missouri - who makes a qualified purchase may participate in the holiday. An individual does not have to be a student or be purchasing for a student to participate.

A total of 39 of the 114 counties in Missouri have opted out of the tax holiday, and will charge county sales tax. That list includes Putnam County in northeast Missouri and Boone County.

A number of cities have also opted out the tax holiday, including area municipalities Columbia, Moberly, Jefferson City and Osage Beach.

Shoppers who travel to Columbia will pay 3.5% to 4% local and county sales tax during the holiday.

More information and a list of cities, counties and districts that have opted out of the holiday can be accessed at Missouri Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday 2013.

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