Tax-free shopping this weekend

Published 11:19 am Friday, July 25, 2014

Like their counterparts across the state, local merchants are gearing up for the Mississippi’s fifth back-to-school tax-free holiday.

The tax holiday began today at 12:01 a.m. and will end Saturday at midnight. During the two-day holiday, shoppers do not pay the state’s 7 percent sales tax on purchases of selected items.

“We really do well,” said Norma Massey, owner of Frederick’s downtown on Washington Street. “We always have a great turnout. Some people like to save money, and this gives them an opportunity to save on sales tax. I think some people hold off (buying items) until that day.”

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Massey’s store sells shoes and children’s clothing. She said shoes are the top seller on tax-free weekends.

“This is the time when people come in to buy shoes for their children for back-to-school,” she said.

Steve Alford, assistant manager of Fred’s on Halls Ferry, said clothing and shoes are the top sellers at the store. “The clothes are what’s exempt from the sales tax,” he said. “Our business picks up, and it sure does help.”

“It’s our bread-and-butter for July,” Outlets At Vicksburg spokesman Manivahn Chanprasith said. “We’re so glad they’re having the tax-free weekend so close to when the kids are going back to school. We have tons of (school) uniforms available for kids.

“We always encourage residents to stay at home and shop local,” she said. “We have plenty to offer.”

She said the mall stores would be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

The tax-free weekend allows shoppers to save 7 percent on certain clothes and shoes that cost $100 or less per item. Shoppers have no limits on how much they can spend.

Qualified items include clothes, coats and shoes that aren’t for special activities.

School supplies, book bags, most accessories and computers are not included in the tax holiday, and items like jewelry, handbags, wallets, watches, backpacks, and similar items do not qualify.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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