Local Governments Opt Out of Tax Holiday for Sake of Revenue

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COLUMBIA - Concerns over revenue have led some local governments to opt out of this weekend's "back-to-school" state sales tax weekend.

"The city of Columbia opted out initially when they passed the sales tax holiday," said Lynn Cannon, assistant finance director.

She said the city council went ahead with the motion to opt out in February of 2006.

"Given the statute, it allowed principalities to opt out," she said.

Unless the city council votes to change things, Columbia has opted out of all future tax holidays.

Jefferson City has also opted out of the sales tax holiday since its inception.

"It's primarily about the revenue," said city administrator, Nathan Nickolas.

He said the decision was also made by the city council and that the holiday does not have any economic benefit for the community.

While 18 Mid-Missouri cities and towns have opted out, places like Mexico have chosen to remove their local taxes for the weekend.

"We have participated for several years," said deputy city manager Roger Hayes.

Hayes said as long as Mexico continues to get through its budgeting cycles it will continue to opt in.

Items included in the tax exemption are:

• Clothing that costs no more than $100.

Eligible clothing includes standard items of apparel worn on or about the body, and includes footwear.

Eligible clothing does not include accessories such as watches, jewelry, handbags, handkerchiefs, umbrellas, scarves, ties, headbands and belt buckles.

• School supplies, not exceeding $50 per purchase, that are used in a standard classroom for educational purposes.

School supplies include textbooks, notebooks, paper, pens, pencils, crayons, art supplies, rulers, book bags, backpacks, handheld calculators, chalk, maps and globes.

School supplies do not include CD players, headphones, sporting equipment, portable telephones, copiers or other office equipment.

• Personal computers and peripheral devices that do not exceed $3,500.

Peripheral devices include items such as a disk drive, memory module, CD drive, microphone, modem, motherboard, mouse, speakers, printer, scanner, sound card or video card.