Pella Chronicle

CNHI/Southeast Iowa

August 2, 2013

Sales tax holiday begins Friday

OTTUMWA — Getting ready to go back to school? This weekend is designed for you.

The Iowa sales tax holiday kicks in today and Saturday, giving consumers a break on many items they may be picking up for the school year. Iowa's sales tax of 6 percent is suspended on all clothing and footwear that sells for under $100.

Tim Kurtz, director of the Ottumwa Area Chamber of Commerce, said the weekend is a sort of kickoff to the back-to-school shopping season. But the relatively early date can take some people off guard.

“Sometimes this kind of sneaks up on people,” he said.

It's not just the state's sales tax that gets knocked off. The Iowa Department of Revenue says local option sales taxes are suspended for qualifying items as well.

The rules are simple for the most part. It's aimed at everyday clothing, not sports equipment or high-end fashion. The individual items purchased must sell for less than $100 to qualify. But items that sell as a group or pair (think shoes or suit sets), can't be split up to qualify.

The exemption isn't cumulative. You can buy as many clothing items that sell for $99.99 as you want, and none of those would trigger the sales tax. But you can't use a coupon or rebate to drop the price of an item below $100 and avoid the tax.

Kurtz said recent years haven't seen the kind of boost retailers would hope for. In fact, “the last couple years, sales have been flat.”

There's reason to think the same might be true this year. The National Retail Federation predicts the average family will spend $634.78 on back-to-school items. That's down about 8 percent from last year but up from both 2010 and 2011.

That concern has led some retailers to push awareness of the event, said Kurtz. But the comparatively limited scope of the sales tax break means it isn't a concern for every business.

Text Only
CNHI/Southeast Iowa
  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 22, 2014

  • McCain 1 House Republicans are more active on Twitter than Democrats

    Your representative in the House is almost certainly on Twitter. Your senator definitely is. But how are they using the social network? Are Democrats more active than Republicans, or vice versa? Who has the most followers on the Hill?

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Do your genes make you procrastinate?

    Procrastinators, in my experience, like nothing better than explaining away their procrastination: General busyness, fear of failure, and simple laziness are just a handful of the excuses and theories often tossed around. Now researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have added another option to the list: genetics.

    April 21, 2014

  • Do White Castle prices tell us anything about the minimum wage?

    The paper looked at how many delicious steamed sliders the minimum wage has been able to purchase over time. The point is that as it notes, in 1981, the $3.35 minimum could buy a whole dozen. Today, at $7.25, it could purchase just 10.

    April 21, 2014

  • VIDEO: Moose charges snowmobile, flees after warning shot

    While snowmobiling in New England, Bob and Janis Powell of Maine were charged by a moose and caught the entire attack on camera.

    April 21, 2014

  • Can Hillary Clinton rock the cradle and the world?

    What's most interesting to contemplate is the effect becoming a grandmother will have on Hillary's ambition. It's one of life's unfairnesses that a woman's peak career years often coincide with her peak childbearing years.

    April 21, 2014

  • North Mahaska Jazz North Mahaska Jazz Band are Class 1A state jazz champions

    The title is the fourth in the past six years for North Mahaska's jazz juggernaut.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

Features
Facebook
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Obituaries