Sales Tax Holiday Returns, Many Local Governments Opt Out

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COLUMBIA - The "back-to-school" state sales tax holiday returns this weekend, but many local governments are opting out, meaning local sales taxes will continue to be charged.

"I'm buying school supplies for him, getting him ready for the year," said Robin Jenkins about her son.

The law removes the state's 4.225 percent sales tax on the specified items starting this Friday and running until stores close on Sunday.

"It's fantastic," said Jenkins of the tax holiday. "Anytime I can save a dollar."

The law allows local governments and taxing districts to opt-out of the holiday. Only three Mid-Missouri counties are taking part: Miller, Maries and Gasconade.

Jenkins said she was shopping for pens and paper, in addition to other items.

She was unaware that many local governments have decided to opt-out of the holiday.

"It would impact my shopping habits. I would go someplace else," she said.

"I don't appreciate that at all. Wow, I can't believe that. What a shame."

Around the state, 49 counties are continuing to charge local taxes.

Mid-Missouri counties continuing to charge local taxes include Boone, Callaway, Camden, Cole, Moniteau, Morgan and Osage.

163 cities and towns statewide have exempted themselves from the holiday and will continue to charge local taxes.

These include 18 in Mid-Missouri: Ashland, Bland, California, Camdenton, Centertown, Chamois, Columbia, Eldon, Fulton, Holts Summit, Jefferson City, Kingdom City, Laurie, Meta, Osage Beach, Owensville, St. Elizabeth, and Taos.

Items included in the tax exemption:

• 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.