Oklahomans are looking forward to a tax-free weekend.
Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday and ending at midnight on Sunday, Oklahoma will hold a sales tax holiday giving shoppers the opportunity to purchase certain clothing and shoes free of sales tax. This includes state and any local sales taxes.
The weekend will help businesses by providing a boost to the economy and the consumer will be able to save money while shopping for clothes and shoes.
Jerrod Shouse, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, says this weekend’s sales-tax holiday will be a big help to small businesses struggling amid a wobbly economy.
“The sales-tax holiday is good for stores in general, but it could make a big difference for small businesses,” Shouse said. “The sales-tax holiday puts people in the mood to shop, and we’re hoping they buy at least some of their school clothes and supplies at small, locally owned businesses, because when you support small business, you support the community.”
“I look at this in two ways,” Shouse said. “We want to encourage folks to shop at a small business because it is good for the shopper. Superior customer services are offered because the shopper is usually dealing with the owner or someone knowledgeable with the services the store offers, and the shopper is able to shop in a different environment.”
The latest NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, released July 9, shows that small-business confidence sputtered and lost momentum in June. Eighteen percent of small-business owners surveyed reported “poor sales” as their biggest concern, up 2 points. Taxes and government rules and regulations ranked first with 20 percent each.
“Combined with the back-to-school sales a lot of stores are having right now, anyway, the sales-tax holiday is going to help people get a bigger bang for their buck,” Shouse said. “The more we can encourage people to spend money and shop at small businesses, the more jobs we’ll save, and the faster our economy will recover.”
Shouse said shopping at small business is good for community.
“Folks who own small businesses in Edmond are entrepreneurs,” Shouse said. “They truly do want to make the community better. Small business owners are supporters of schools and local organizations like Rotary. We feel like it is not only good for shoppers but they are helping make the community a better community. Helping small businesses helps the economy.”
Shouse said, according to the SBA, 98 percent of the private-sector employers are classified as small businesses, and they provide more than half of the work force.
“When the small business sector does well the community does well.”
Retailers are required to participate and may not charge sales tax on items that are legally tax-exempt during Oklahoma’s sales tax holiday. The sales tax holiday exempts the sale of clothing and shoes priced at less than $100 from sales taxes.
Under the annual Oklahoma sales-tax holiday, approved by Oklahoma lawmakers in 2007, certain clothing and shoe purchases can be made sales-tax free. Qualified items are exempt from state, city and county sales taxes. Clothing and shoes that cost less than $100 individually are exempt from the sales tax. Items that cost more than $100 are taxable.
“Back-to-school shoppers can find great values on everything they need to get their families ready for a new school year at Kohl’s, including quality, national and exclusive brands at prices they can appreciate,” said Jen Johnson, Kohl’s director of public relations. “We know shoppers are focused on staying within budget, so Kohl’s incredible savings opportunities and customer-friendly conveniences make us a great choice for budget-conscious shoppers.”
The tax exemption also applies to shoes and clothing purchased at thrift stores or antique stores. And while many families take advantage of the holiday weekend as a time to save on clothing and shoes for school, many other clothing items are exempt, too.
Lab coats, uniforms and office-appropriate clothing also are tax free. And while certain athletic items for specific sports are not exempt, other sports items will be exempt.
David Burroughs, Academy store operations manager, said, “Some items that are taxable include belt buckles without belts and shoulder pads and baseball cleats but customers can still get a great deal on these and other items at Academy Sports and Outdoors.”
On its website, the Oklahoma Tax Commission provides a long list of items that are exempt from sales tax during the three-day period. Among them are aprons, baby receiving blankets, bathing suits and caps, belts and suspenders, coats and jackets, diapers, formal wear, underwear, hats and caps, hosiery, insoles for shoes, neckties, rainwear, shoes and shoe laces, uniforms, wedding apparel and more.
Accessories including jewelry, handbags, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, watches and other similar items are taxable. For a complete list, go online to http://www.tax.ok.gov/rules/sth6509.pdf.
TO LEARN MORE about the sales tax holiday, visit the Oklahoma Tax Commission’s website at http://www.tax.ok.gov/
Oklahomans are looking forward to a tax-free weekend.
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Cold impacts Edmond businesses, city services
Roger Seaton is operating manager of Edmond Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing, 3104 South Kelly Ave., owned by the Seaton family since 1970.
On Tuesday, for the first time in days, the temperature in the Edmond area rose above 32 degrees. At 2:53 p.m. Tuesday, the temperature was 41 degrees at the Guthrie-Edmond Regional Airport, surpassing the predicted high of 34, according to the National Weather Service.
Seaton’s business offers plumbing services including water line work and repairs to faucets in the kitchen and bathroom. When it comes to plumbing calls, pipes that burst are a priority, Seaton said. It takes a while for pipes to freeze, he said, and residents began calling by Friday. Calls during the cold spell were both about frozen pipes and pipes that had burst.
If you have no water coming out of a faucet, shut off the water upstream and open cabinet doors to get warmer air circulating around pipes, Seaton said.
School back in session Wednesday
Parents are heaving a sign of relief while some students aren’t going to be quite as happy.
“All classes and activities will resume Wednesday in Edmond Public Schools,” said Susan Parks-Schlepp, director of public information and community involvement. “Slick spots remain and buses may be running a bit late but secondary roads are in much better shape after significant thawing.”
As reported earlier, students will not be making up the four snow days taken off from school this past week.
Kelly widening project progressing
Work progresses smoothly for the Kelly widening project, City Manager Larry Stevens said before the City Council this week. Road work began in July about 1,000 feet north of Covell and continues north to a point 350 feet south of Coffee Creek.
Duit Construction/TTK Construction is in charge of constructing a four-lane divided roadway with left turn lanes at all public streets along the project on Kelly going from Covell to Coffee Creek.
Picking out the perfect tree can be a joy for whole family
The Griswolds understood the significance of picking out the family Christmas tree, as do many Oklahomans about this time of year. Visiting one of Oklahoma’s “choose-and-cut” tree farms is a good way to jumpstart the holiday spirit.
Council denies mosque expansion
Inadequate parking for a growing mosque led the City Council to deny a site plan request for an addition to be added to the existing structure. The vote was 4-0 with Councilwoman Elizabeth Waner abstaining.
Prayer is given in the existing 680-square-foot building at 525 N. University Drive. The 8,307-square-foot addition is needed for fellowship and recreation, said attorney Randel Shadid, representing the Islamic Society of Edmond.
“I did attend a dinner for the mosque about three weeks ago. There were 100 people who attended that to welcome home the people who go on the pilgrimage to Mecca,” Shadid said. “That’s one of their larger functions.”
City alerts public to repeat utility scam
City administrators and public safety officials are jointly warning residents of a scam that has surfaced once again in our area.
Edmond Police Department spokeswoman Jenny Monroe said a few months ago OG&E warned customers of a phone scam in which a customer is called by a person falsely representing themselves as an OG&E employee.
Monroe said the caller says if the customer doesn’t make a payment on their delinquent account in the next 45 minutes to an hour their utility services will be suspended. Monroe said the caller requests credit card information or that they purchase a money card and provide that account information.
Memorial Booster Club postpones Taste of Memorial
Because school has been canceled for today, the Taste of Memorial has been rescheduled for 4:30-7:30 p.m. Jan. 7, 2014. Taste of Memorial has food from more than 30 local restaurants such as Alvarado’s, Flatire Burgers, Fish City, Boulevard Steakhouse, Garbanzo, Chicken Express, The Meat House, Panera and Earl’s to name just a few. A silent auction will be held with more than 140 auction items from local and regional merchants. The tickets are $10 from a Memorial athlete or $15 at the door. The money raised goes to Edmond Memorial Booster Club to help support Edmond Memorial athletics.
Multicounty grand jury reconvenes
Oklahoma’s multicounty grand jury reconvenes Tuesday in Oklahoma City.
Grand jurors will meet Tuesday through Thursday at the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office, 313 N.E. 21st St. Hearings are not open to the public.
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Holiday shipping dates inch closer
This is the time of year for seemingly endless lines for the harried shopper and post office lines are no different.
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