A special weekend has started in Missouri’s stores despite some questions about whether it’s a good idea. Through Sunday, things described in state law as “school supplies” will be exempt from state sales taxes. It’s up to cities, counties, and other jurisdictions to decide if they want to forego their sales tax collections clothes, shoes, pencils, pens, paper, computer software, and computers and peripheral devices. Fifty counties, 169 cities, and 62 special taxing districts are not participating. Here’s the list of those not taking part in the holiday:
Small business representatives say the weekend will help them. But there are some questions about other beneficiaries. Personal finance planning expert Brenda Procter with University of Missouri Extension is not sure this weekend is worth it. She says the state likely will lose tens of millions of dollars in sales tax revenue that it needs for programs and services that continue to face cutbacks.
Procter says low-income Missourians might save a little bit on the items they can afford to buy but they’ll still pay a greater percentage of their income in total taxes than higher income people do.
Having said all of that, Procter says she would always encourage consumers to take advantage of the holiday despite her concerns about whether the holiday is good tax policy.