The Edmond Sun

Business

July 27, 2012

Families, small businesses to profit from sales tax holiday

EDMOND — Oklahoma’s sales tax holiday will help small businesses as well as individuals who plan on purchasing items of clothing or shoes.

The Oklahoma Legislature passed Senate Bill 861 during the 2007 legislative session to benefit both consumers and retailers in the state by providing sales tax exempt shopping. This will help businesses by providing a boost in the economy and the consumer by allowing them to save money when shopping for clothing and shoes.

This year’s annual sales tax holiday for sales of qualifying clothing and footwear begins this year at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 3 and runs through midnight Aug. 5.

During the three-day holiday period, the sale of any article of “clothing” or “footwear” designed for wear on or about the human body that has a sales price of less than $100 is exempt from state, county and municipal sales taxes.

“We see an increase in soft lines apparel during the tax-free weekend,” said Kelly Dalrymple, executive manager of the SuperTarget at 1200 E. Second St.

She added the before school clothing sales are always up similar to Easter when there is an increase in food sales.

For those who might think clothing is just tops and jeans, shorts, skirts and shoes, there is more to that nomenclature than meets the eye.

School uniforms are included in the clothing category, and Shawn McCargo, Old Navy manager at the Bryant and Second Street store, said last year Old Navy had increases over the previous year’s sales and are looking forward to exceeding that total this year.

“Most of our business is school uniforms that weekend,” McCargo said.  

According to the Oklahoma Tax Commission website, “clothing” includes items such as baby receiving blankets, belts and suspenders, child and adult diapers (including disposable), costumes (excluding masks sold separately), gloves and mittens, hats and caps, shoe insoles, athletic and non-athletic uniforms, neckties and wedding apparel.

“Footwear” means any shoe, boot or other similar article designed to be worn on the feet.

The sales tax holiday does not apply to sales of “accessories,” a term that refers to items such as handbags, hair pieces, jewelry, hair bows, handkerchiefs, nonprescription eye wear, umbrellas, wallets, watches, wigs and similar items carried on or about the body.

It also does not apply to special clothing or footwear primarily designed for athletic activity.

Eligible items sold to purchasers by mail, telephone, email or Internet shall qualify for the sales tax exemption if the customer orders and pays for the item and the retailer accepts the order during the exemption period for immediate shipment, even if delivery is made after the exemption period.

All retailers must participate in the holiday.

Jerrod Shouse, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, says Oklahoma’s upcoming sales tax holiday will be a big help to small businesses still recovering from the recession.

“The sales tax holiday is kind of like the day after Thanksgiving,” Shouse said. “It gets people fired up and puts them in the mood to shop, and that’s what we need right now.

“The more we can encourage people to spend money and shop at our small businesses, the more jobs we’ll save, and the faster our economy will recover,” he said.

Small business is the engine that drives Oklahoma’s economy, accounting for 97 percent of all state employers and employing 54 percent of the state’s private-sector workforce, according to federal data.

To learn more about the sales tax holiday, visit the Oklahoma Tax Commission’s website at http://www.tax.ok.gov/

upmin071012.html.

Texas will have its tax free weekend on Aug. 17-19. During this three-day period, Texas shoppers will get a break from state and local sales taxes on purchases of school supplies, clothing and most backpacks priced under $100.

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