Tax-Free Holiday

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 27, 2009

Tax holiday kicks off Friday across state

By Rupert Howell

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Lawmakers passed the state’s first sales tax holiday offering residents some relief and hopefully providing an economic boost while realizing they could cause a loss of millions of dollars in municipal and state revenue.

Shoppers on Friday and Saturday won’t have to pay the 7 percent tax on clothing and footwear priced less than $100. The holiday aims to give back-to-school shoppers a break and keep Mississippi competitive with neighboring states that offer similar tax-free weekends.

Cities receive 18.5 cents of every dollar of sales tax collected within their borders.

Mississippi retailers are required to participate in this year’s sales-tax holiday, but there is uncertainty over how it will affect cities’ budgeting for the fiscal year that begins in October.

State Tax Commission officials have estimated a $2.5 million loss statewide, based on other states’ experiences while admitting that it was impossible to predict what will happen here.

Batesville Mayor Jerry Autrey said, “If it helps the people I’m all for it. I hope they will get out and take advantage of it,” he said and added, “I hope they do their shopping in Batesville.”

Alderman at Large Teddy Morrow whose family also owns a retail clothing store said that he might just offer an across the board “no sales tax” sale and keep a list of items that don’t qualify and let the store pay the tax on it to simplify the process.

“Usually during the first of the month and back to school we’re busy anyway,” Morrow stated

But sales-tax revenue is down in Batesville and most other Mississippi municipalities.

The latest figures indicate that the state of Mississippi’s overall collections were down three percent for the just-completed fiscal year and Batesville was down five percent, amounting to over $200,000 in lost revenue over the previous fiscal year.

The rocky economy is putting the brakes on some states’ tax-free weekends. Florida canceled its tax holiday this year as the sluggish economy had already dug into government revenues according to published reports.

Mississippi’s law allows cities to opt out of the holiday next year if they feel it costs them too much revenue.

Items Eligible and Non-Eligible for Sales Tax Free Holiday are as follows:

Accessories (generally) (N)
• Barrettes (N)
• Belt buckles (sold separately) (N)
• Bobby pins (N)
• Briefcases (N)
• Elastic ponytail holders (N)
• Hair bows and Hair clips (N)
• Handkerchiefs (N)• Headbands (N)
• Jewelry (N)
• Purses and Handbags (N)
• Watches or Watch bands (N)

Adult diapers (N)
Alterations (N)
Aprons (household) (N)
Aprons (welders) (N)
Athletic socks (E)
Baby bibs (N)
Baby clothes (E)
Baby diapers (cloth or disposable) (N)
Backpacks (N)
Baseball caps (E)
Baseball cleats (N)
Baseball gloves (N)
Baseball jerseys (E)
Baseball pants (N)
Bathing caps (N)
Belt buckles (N)
Belts with attached buckles (E)
Belts for weight lifting (N)
Blouses (E)
Boots (general purpose) (E)
• Climbing (cleated or spiked) (N)
• Cowboy (E)
• Fishing (waders) (N)
• Hiking (E)
• Overshoes and galoshes (N)
• Rubber work boots (N)
• Ski and Waders (N)
Bow ties (E)
Bowling shirts (E)
Bras (E)
Buttons and Zippers(N)
Camp clothes (E)
Caps (baseball, fishing, golf) (E)
Chef uniforms (E)
Children’s novelty costumes (unless rented) (E)
Chest protectors (N)
Clerical vestments (E)
Cloth and lace, knitting yarns, etc. (N)
Coats and wraps (E)
Corsages and boutonnieres (N)
Costume Outfits/Apparel (unless rented) (E)
Coveralls (E)
Diapers (cloth and disposable) (N)
Dress Gloves (unless rented) (E)
Dresses (E)
Elbow pads (N)
Employee uniforms (unless rented) (E)
Fabrics, thread, buttons, lace, etc. (N)
Fins (swim) (N)
Fishing boots (waders) (N)
Fishing caps (E)
Fishing vests (non-flotation) (E)
Football jerseys (E)
Football pads (N)Football pants (N)
Gloves (generally) (N)
• Bicycle (N)
• Dress (unless rented) (E)
• Garden (N)
• Rubber (N)
• Sports (football, golf, hockey, etc.) (N)
• Surgical (N)
• Work (N)
Goggles (N)
Golf caps (E)
Golf equip. (gloves, shoes, etc) (N)
Golf dresses (E)
Golf jackets and windbreakers (E)
Golf shirts (E)
Golf skirts (E)
Graduation caps and gowns (N)
Gym suits and uniforms (E)
Hair nets, bows, clips, & barrettes (N)
Handbags and purses (N)
Handkerchiefs (N)
Hard hats (N)
Hats (E)
Headbands (N)
Helmets (bike, motorcycle, sports, etc.) (N)
Hockey gloves (N)
Hooded shirts /hooded sweatshirts (E)
Hosiery, including support hosiery (E)
Hunting vests (E)
Ice skates (N)
Insoles (N)
Jackets (E)
Jeans (E)
Jewelry (N)
Jogging apparel (E)
Knitted caps or hats (E)
Laundering services (N)
Leg warmers (E)
Leotards and tights (E)
Life jackets and vests (N)
Luggage (N)
Neckwear and ties (E)
Nightgowns and nightshirts (E)
Overshoes and rubber shoes (N)
Pads (Sports or Support) (N)
Painter pants (E)
Pajamas (E)
Pants (E)
Panty hose (E)
Personal flotation devices (N)
Pocket squares (N)
Protective equip. (gloves, masks, etc.) (N)
Raincoats and ponchos (E)
Rain hats (E)
Religious clothing (E)
Ribbons (N)Robes (E)
Roller blades or skates (N)
Safety clothing (N)
Safety glasses (N)Safety shoes (E)
Scarves (E)
Scout uniforms (E)
Sewing patterns (N)
Shawls and wraps (E)
Shin guards and padding (N)
Shirts & Hooded shirts (E)
Shoe inserts (N)
Shoelaces (N)
Shoes (generally) (E)
• Boat (E)
• Cross trainers (E)
• Dress (E)
• Fishing boots (waders) (N)
• Flip-flops (rubber thongs) (E)
• Jazz and dance (N)
• Jellies (E)
• Overshoes (N)
• Running (without cleats) (E)
• Sandals (E)
• Slippers (E)
• Sneakers and tennis (E)
• Tap dance (N)
• Tennis (E)
• Walking (E)
• Sport Design (i.e. any spiked or cleated/ specifically designed fora sport such as golf, football,soccer, etc.) (N)
Shoulder pads (N)
Shorts (E)
Skates (ice and roller) (N)
Ski vests (water) (N)
Skirts (E)
Sleepwear, nightgowns, pajamas (E)
Slippers (E)
Slips (E)
Soccer socks (E)
Socks (E)
Sports helmets (N)
Sports pads (football, hockey, soccer, knee, elbow, shoulder) (N)
Suits, slacks, and jackets (E)
Sunglasses (N)
Support hosiery (E)
Suspenders (E)Sweatbands (arm, wrist, head) (N)
Sweatshirts and Sweat suits (E)
Sweaters (E)
Swimming masks and goggles (N)
Swimsuits (E)
Tennis dresses, shorts, shoes (E)
Tennis skirts (E)
Ties (neckties -all) (E)
Tights (E)
Trousers (E)
Umbrellas (N)
Underclothes (pants and shirts) (E)
Veils (E)
Vests (generally) (E)
• Bulletproof (N)
• Fishing (non-flotation) (E)
• Flotation (N)
• Hunting (E)
• Sports (scuba, water-ski, etc.) (N)
Wallets (N)
Watch bands (N)
Watches (N)
Water ski vests (N)
Weight lifting belts (N)
Wet and dry suits (N)
Work clothes (E)
Work uniforms (E)
Workout clothes (E)
Wrist bands (N)

(E) = Eligible; (N) = Non-Eligible; Taxable