Mississippi gets tax free holiday

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Shoppers will soon get a break from Mississippi's seven percent sales tax. Later this month, the state will participate in its first ever tax free holiday, just in time for back to school buying.

"They got to buy it anyway, so give them a little break," said Mayor Tom Todd.

Todd is the mayor of Ecru, a town of about 1,000 people.

"Our unemployment rate is usually anywhere between four and six percent, and right now it's at 12 percent. Luckily,we still got some people working," said Mayor Todd.

Mayor Todd and several other state leaders attending this year's Mississippi Municipal League are hoping the tax free holiday will stimulate Mississippi's economy.

"The other states around us that use that as an option for cities and towns," said Mayor George Lewis of Clinton. "Some cities, it will be a good thing for them to do. Others, it may not make a difference one way or the other."

There are some stipulations: The tax free incentive only applies to clothes and shoes that cost less than $100.

"The idea behind this is that you will make it up in other areas. You bring more people out to shop. They will buy other things, they will go out to eat while they're shopping," said Knox Ross.

Knox Ross is the mayor of Pelahatchie.

"Times are difficult and we all need to do something to help, and this may be more symbolic than anything else," said Mayor Ross. "Because it's limited to certain items and certain dollar amounts, but it does symbolize that we are all in this together. We recognize the problem and we need to help."

This year the tax free incentive is mandatory for all of Mississippi. Next year, cities will have the option of opting out.

The tax free holiday runs from 12:01 am on July 31 through midnight on August 1st. For more information on guidelines for the state tax holiday, click here.

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