By Nate Bell
The first weekend of August is our annual Back to School sales tax holiday in Arkansas. State and local taxes are not assessed on purchases of certain items typically needed when returning to school. This year the average Arkansas parent will spend over $250 on school clothes and an additional $100 for supplies.
Clothing items and shoes less than $100 per item are exempt from sales tax during the tax holiday. This exemption includes jackets, coats, and athletic uniforms.
Clothing accessories and equipment such as briefcases, handbags, and umbrellas are also exempt from sales tax if the sales price is less than $50 per item. School supplies and instructional materials including crayons, glue, notebooks, and scissors are tax-free as well.
Many Arkansas retailers host special deals and discounts that coincide with the tax-free days and the weekend has become a major shopping event.
You can find a complete list of tax-exempt items on the House website www.arkansashouse.org.
The sales tax holiday begins at 12:01am on August 3rd and concludes at 11:59pm on August 4th.
I was proud to be one of the drafters and a key sponsor of the legislation that led to passage of Act 757 during the 2011 session. Eighteen other states now offer some kind of sales tax holiday. It is my belief that the sales tax holiday encourages many Arkansans to do their back to school shopping in our state and at the same time encourages folks from bordering states to shop in Arkansas.
For more information you can call a customer service representative at the Department of Finance and Administration during business hours at (501) 682-7104 or you are always welcome to contact me for more information.