Erika Murray reaches for a bottle of glue as she prepares for the upcoming school year at the School Aid store in Lake Charles Wednesday. (Brad Puckett / American Press)
Last Modified: Friday, July 27, 2012 2:39 PMBargain shoppers can purchase most retail items without paying the 4 percent state sales tax during Louisiana’s annual sales tax holiday Friday and Saturday, Aug. 3-4.
The exemption applies to the first $2,500 of the purchase price of each eligible item, according to the state Department of Revenue.
“Individual items of tangible personal property” are eligible for the exemption, the department said.
According to the agency’s website, this applies when a customer buys and accepts delivery of eligible property; places property on layaway; acquires property previously placed on layaway; or places an order for immediate delivery, even if delivery must be delayed provided the customer has not requested delayed shipment.
“The sales tax holiday is kind of like the day after Thanksgiving,” Renee Amar, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, said in a news release. “It gets people fired up and puts them in the mood to shop, and that’s what we need right now.”
Carmen Million, president of the Better Business Bureau, said the tax holiday will motivate consumers to shop since they feel they are getting a break.
“A win-win situation,” Million said. “Brings in much needed customers to local businesses and saves those customers money.”
George Swift, president and CEO of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Alliance, said the tax break helps businesses get more customers and helps customers’ money go further.
Local sales taxes apply unless the local taxing authority allows its own exemption.
The sales tax holiday does not apply to vehicles subject to license and title; meals prepared for consumption on premises or to go; hotel occupancy; laundry services; printing services; telecommunication services; the furnishing of cold storage space; leases or rentals of tangible personal property; repairs to tangible personal property; and admission to athletic, amusement, or recreational facilities or events.
Swift said the tax holiday is a good kickoff for the fall — helping parents and students with back-to-school expenses.
The Revenue Department says shoppers who plan to claim income tax deductions should hang on to receipts for school supplies, uniforms and educational equipment required by schools.
In celebration of the holiday, Prien Lake Mall will host Back At It, a back-to-school children’s expo, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 4, in the Sears/Dillard’s Court. The expo will feature an array of educational tables for children.