The annual school supplies sales tax holiday has started, but not for a lot of cities and counties. And for some people, sales tax holidays happen every day.

The state does not collect its sales tax on numerous items  on the first weekend of each August that are considered school supplies.  But the items don’t have be bought for or by students and they don’t have to be taken to school.

Cities and counties can forego local sales taxes if they want, but more than 160 cities and almost 50 counties have decided to keep collecting them.

Missouri Retailers Association President David Overfelt says a lot of people don’t wait for a sales tax holiday. “These items can be bought sales tax free every day,” he says, referring to the internet, which seldom collects sales taxes on purchases.  But he  says the tax holiday emphasizes the importance of shopping at home, where sales taxes often finance many local services.

Some local fiscal officers say their cities or counties cannot afford to go a weekend without collecting local sales taxes.  But the Revenue Department never has been able to confirm whether they lose money on weekends such as this.

The Revenue Department has a site that lists the things that can be bought without a state sales tax this weekend.



AUDIO: Overfelt 7:58