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Why Cities and Counties Opt Out of This Weekend's Sales Tax Holiday

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/whycitiesa_1861.mp3

Beginning this Friday, Missourians will enjoy a sales tax holiday on back-to-school items like clothing, computers, and school supplies. But as KSMU's Missy Shelton reports, how much you save on taxes depends on where you shop.

The National Retail Federation expects back-to-school spending to increase by nearly 7 percent this year. That's good news for Missouri retailers as they look toward this weekend's sales tax holiday.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday, qualifying back-to-school purchases will be exempt from state sales tax no matter where you shop...but in some places, you could end up still paying local taxes.

The City of Springfield is one of 169 cities NOT participating in the sales tax holiday. Greene County is one of 51 counties not participating.

Mary Mannix Decker is the city's director of finance. She says the city estimates it could lose as much as 200 thousand dollars if it participated in the sales tax holiday.

David Overfelt is president of the Missouri Retailers Association. He says it hurts local businesses when cities and counties opt out of the sales tax holiday.

Overfelt says consumers will find lots of deals this weekend as retailers go out of their way to entice customers.

Overfelt says the sales tax holiday and the accompanying discounts from retailers stimulate new economic activity. But city officials say the sales tax holiday doesn't create new spending.

Mary Mannix Decker with the City of Springfield says instead of generating new economic activity, it simply changes the point in time when consumers buy goods.

The city's argument is not a new one...Missouri Retailers Association President David Overfelt.

City and county officials say their budgets simply can't handle the loss of revenue they would incur if they participated in a sales tax holiday.

Meanwhile, retailers say they'd like to see the sales tax holiday expanded from three days to a full week.

If you'd like to see what cities and counties are NOT participating in the sales tax holiday, go online to KSMU dot org. You'll find this story and links to those lists.

Links:

  • List of Cities Not Participating in the Sales Tax Holiday
  • List of Counties Not Participating in the Sales Tax Holiday