Stores prepare for annual tax-free weekend
COLUMBIA – As the annual tax-free weekend begins, stores are preparing for a weekend of sales.
During tax-free weekend, some sales taxes are not collected on many back-to-school essentials, like clothing, school supplies and electronics.
Charlotte Smarr, owner of Fringe Boutique, said she’s excited for their first time participating in tax-free weekend.
“I think it’s going to bring some good crowds downtown and people that maybe don’t come down normally so we’re looking forward to the extra business and showing them our shop,” she said.
Fringe opened in downtown Columbia in April. Smarr said helping customers is what they want to focus on this weekend.
“Customer service is our main thing,” she said. “We want everybody greeted and we want everybody to feel welcome.”
Smarr said she hopes more people shop downtown aside from the popular retail stores.
While stores will be attracting more customers this weekend, some counties and cities are opting out.
If counties and cities opt out, residents will pay local taxes but state sales taxes will be exempt.
In February 2006, the City of Columbia passed a measure to opt out of the holiday weekend. Cole County also opts out.
Presiding Commissioner of Cole County Sam Bushman said they opt out because of sales revenues.
“I think this year, probably more than some, with sales tax revenue kind of precarious as it is," he said. "That it's probably something that we, is kind of something we really need to do."
The sales holiday ends on Sunday August 6.