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
  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 21, 2014

  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 21, 2014

  • Starved Pennsylvania 7-year-old weighed only 25 pounds

    A 7-year-old Pennsylvania boy authorities described as being so underweight he looked like a human skeleton has been released from the hospital.

    July 21, 2014

  • Fundraiser for soldiers' families approaching

    CENTERVILLE — Justin Zaputil remembers when Master Sgt. Travis Riddick died. The common reactions didn’t feel right. Mourning and then moving on left something undone. It didn’t seem to accomplish what Zaputil and a handful of others wanted. It didn’

    July 21, 2014

  • Malaysians wonder 'Why us?' after second loss of airline jet

    It was all too familiar. Grieving families rushing to airport. The flashing television graphics of a plane's last radar appearance. The uncomfortable officials before a heavy thicket of microphones.
    For many Malaysians, the disappearance of Flight 370 in March has been a long trauma from which the nation has not yet recovered.

    July 18, 2014

  • A quarter of the world's most educated people live in the 100 largest cities

    College graduates are increasingly sorting themselves into high-cost, high-amenity cities such as Washington, New York, Boston and San Francisco, a phenomenon that threatens to segregate us across the country by education.

    July 18, 2014

  • Your chocolate addiction is only going to get more expensive

    For nearly two years, cocoa prices have been on the rise. Finally, that's affecting the price you pay for a bar of chocolate - and there's reason to believe it's only the beginning.

    July 18, 2014

  • Facebook tests button to let people shop from its website

    Members on desktop computers or mobile devices can click a "buy" button to make purchases through advertisements or other posts on the world's largest social network, the Menlo Park, California-based company said Thursday in a blog post.

    July 17, 2014

  • The terrible history of passenger planes getting shot out of the sky

    What is more clear is that, if initial reports are true, this would be the deadliest incident of a civilian passenger plane being shot down in modern memory. In some instances, the causes of the disaster are still shrouded in mystery. Here are some of the worst events.

    July 17, 2014

  • Blue Zones photo Blue Zones hold cooking demonstration at farmers' market

    OSKALOOSA — Two local chefs gave a cooking demonstration at the Oskaloosa Farmers’ Market Tuesday afternoon to show just what you can do with produce you buy there. Renee Edgar and Michael Glesener set up a portable kitchen on the east side of the cit

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

Features
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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