Sales-tax holiday will start next year

Sunday, June 1, 2003

After a couple of years of trying, the Missouri Legislature this year passed a sales-tax holiday that is expected to save shoppers about $5 million at a critical retail time: back-to-school shopping.

The first sales-tax holiday will be in August of next year. An emergency provision to have a tax holiday this year failed to pass.

Counties and cities that have sales taxes of their own can opt out of the holiday. Mississippi County commissioners, citing financial needs, have already opted out, thinking there would be a holiday this year. The opt-out period for next year's holiday is Aug. 28 until mid-July 2004.

It's unfortunate that elected local officials don't think taxpayers are entitled to a bit of sales-tax relief. The holiday is for purchases such as school supplies, computers and clothing -- in limited quantities. While the statewide impact will be $5 million, the reduction in sales tax for most towns and rural counties will be minimal.

The sales-tax holiday is a good idea. But it won't benefit everyone if counties and cities don't participate. And counties and cities that opt out will be giving consumers a good reason to go elsewhere to shop.

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