School supplies included during tax-free weekend

By HASKEL BURNS,

The Mississippi Department of Revenue’s Sales Tax Holiday – in which certain items are exempt from the usual 7 percent sales tax – is back again this year, with one big exception.

For the first time since the inception of the holiday – which runs this year from 12:01 a.m. July 26 to midnight July 27 – school supplies will be included in the list of eligible tax-free items. The measure was put in place during the 2019 Legislative Session.

"We're excited to see that school supplies have been included in the tax free holiday this year,” said Samone Wilson, Communications and Engagement Coordinator for the Hattiesburg Public School District. “This will give parents and educators an opportunity to stock up on needed supplies while also saving a little bit of money."

The new list of eligible school supplies includes more than 40 items, including backpacks, paper, paintbrushes, paint, calculators, pencils and pens, textbooks, notebooks and index cards. Supplies such as lunch boxes, sketch pads, sheet music, crayons and markers also are tax-free during the holiday.

“This is a great help to teachers, parents and students,” said Tess Smith, superintendent of the Lamar County School District. “I’m thankful that they’ll benefit from it.”

The tax-exempt status applies to eligible items that have a sale price of less than $100 each. Eligible items include shirts, pants, socks, belts with attached buckles, baby clothes, work uniforms, hats and gym suits.

Items such as jewelry, luggage, graduation caps and gowns, wallets and watches are not eligible.

Layaway sales of eligible items do not qualify for the holiday. However, sales of eligible items that were placed or ordered by mail, telephone or the Internet are not subject to sales tax if the purchaser orders and pays for the items during the sales tax holiday and the items are less than $100 each.

Items priced at $100 or more are subject to the regular 7 percent sales tax.

For more information on the 2019 Sales Tax Holiday, call the Mississippi Department of Revenue at (601) 923-7015 or view the complete list of eligible and non-eligible items online at www.dor.ms.gov.

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