ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Mississippi’s annual sales tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday and ends at midnight Saturday.
Mississippi retailers are gearing up for one of their busiest times of the year.
Department of Revenue spokeswoman Kathy Waterbury says nothing has changed from previous years in which shoppers can save 7 percent on certain clothes and shoes that cost $100 or less per item.
“The sales tax holiday is like the day after Thanksgiving,” said Ron Aldridge, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business.
“It gets people fired up and in the mood to shop, and that’s exactly what our economy needs right now, especially with the additional savings to individuals and families for needed clothing and footwear,” he said.
Three towns — Crenshaw, Enterprise and Heidelberg — are not participating in the sales tax holiday, according to the Revenue Department. Businesses in those towns will be charging the 7 percent sales tax.
Again, as in the past, school supplies and computers are not on the list of sales tax-free items.
The state’s first sales tax holiday was in 2009.
“The items exempt from sales tax during the sales tax holiday are identical to those items exempt in prior years,” Waterbury said.
The Revenue Department rules show clothing and footwear items, meant to be worn next to the body and cost less than $100 per item, are exempt from sales tax.
Accessories such as jewelry, handbags, wallets, watches, backpacks, and similar items do not qualify for the sales tax holiday. Cleats and items worn in conjunction with an athletic or recreational activity are other sample items not eligible.
Some stores kicked off the holiday a little early.
Eight downtown Tupelo retailers kicked off the holiday Monday and others joined in yesterday.
“The 7 percent off isn’t that big of a deal, but when you put it with a 40 percent-off or a 30 percent-off, it becomes much more attractive,” said Jeff Snyder, general manager at The Mall at Barnes Crossing.
Snyder said he expects a huge turnout at the mall, as do other retailers around town.
Corner Shoe Store owner Tommy Lee said he has no complaints.
“Back-to-school gets bigger every year,” he said. “This year, people have been here shopping during the week, they’re here on Saturdays. … The tax-free holiday is getting bigger and better.”