Could we please add hand sanitizer to tax exempt list?

Published 6:53 pm Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Last weekend, local retailers joined others around the state in the annual back to school sales tax holiday.

Shoppers were able to purchase items like shoes, clothes and jackets without having local or state sales taxes applied. It was a good weekend to go shopping and hopefully, a good weekend for local retailers.

But, the weekend could be far better.

The back to school shopping experience is not all about shoes, clothes and jackets. But while they are part of the overall shopping list, those items do not make up the bulk of the needs for parents or students.

Instead, it is hand sanitizer.

If there is one item that could be added to the list of tax-exempt items for next year’s back to school sales tax holiday, I pray it is hand sanitizer.

With three children heading to school this fall, there were three school supply lists.

There were the normal requests for paper, folders and pencils, but the volume of hand sanitizer I left Walmart with a few weekends ago was embarrassing.

For full disclosure, I left the supercenter with a super amount of 12 — that’s right a dozen — bottles of generic hand sanitizer. That is equal to the amount needed to curtail most global epidemics.

I am glad for us to do our part in stocking classrooms with needed materials. I would much rather do it than have that burden fall on the shoulders of our teachers and administrators, but the tax exempt list needs a little work.

While hand sanitizer was jokingly a large percentage of our list, it is amazing to me state legislators could not figure out a way to leave exempt those things parents are asked to buy each year just for school.

Supplies like pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, Crayons and the like should be included.

Would that open the door for others to buy those items in bulk for non-school related needs? Yes, it would. But, it would also help parents cut just a few pennies off their bill at a time when we are already asked to pay for so much.

Hand sanitizer would be a nice addition, but there is a lot more that could be done and added.

Tim Reeves is editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at tim.reeves@vicksburgpost.com.

About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

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