Missouri sales tax holiday offers prime opportunity for savings

A shopper takes advantage of Missouri's tax-free weekend Aug. 4, 2017, at Plato's Closet in Cape Girardeau. This year's abatement on certain retail items runs from Friday to Sunday, with many communities and counties throughout the state not collecting sales tax.
Southeast Missourian file

Following Independence Day, retailers start promoting the next big sale: Back to school. Though there are still a couple weeks to go before area students and teachers return to the classroom, the state of Missouri will again offer consumers an opportunity this weekend to save a few dollars on certain purchases.

The state's "Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday" beginning Friday and continuing through Sunday exempts purchases of qualifying items of Missouri's 4.225% sales tax. Additionally, a number of local municipalities, including the cities of Jackson and Perryville along with Cape Girardeau County, will forgo their local sales tax.

Qualifying items include clothing, school supplies, computer software and personal computers. There are some stipulations for each of these, which were documented in a recent Southeast Missourian story. You can also read more about the stipulations and which municipalities are exempting their local sales tax on the Department of Revenue's website at dor.mo.gov/business/sales/taxholiday/school/faq.php.

The sales tax holiday was championed 18 years ago by Peter Kinder of Cape Girardeau, who was then-Senate president pro-tem. It would be made an annual event a year later by Gov. Matt Blunt.

We are proponents of this initiative and have written in support of it for many years. The weekend allows many families a good opportunity to save a few dollars as they shop for needed back-to-school items, and at a time when inflation is driving up the cost of nearly everything, it's especially important for many families.

Many local retailers use the weekend to offer extra savings with good deals and compete for business. So there are plenty of opportunities to save as you shop.

As always, we encourage you to shop locally. While it can be tempting to shop online, your local retail establishments are key to this economy. Think local as you do your back-to-school shopping this weekend, and enjoy the extra savings from Missouri's sales tax holiday.