Stores expect big crowds for tax-free shopping weekend

By Trang Pham-Bui - bio | email

D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Store employees are making sure there are enough clothes on the racks and plenty of shoes on the shelves. Retailers had to do a lot of homework to prepare for Mississippi's first Sales Tax Holiday.

"We do expect a higher turnout of traffic that weekend and we do have additional qualities of merchandise on hand to try and supplement those extra sales," said Anthony Chisesi, Co-manager of the D'Iberville Walmart Supercenter.

The weekend before school starts is traditionally one of the busiest shopping times of the year.  Now, with the tax-free shopping incentive happening on the same weekend, retailers are bracing for the back-to-school rush.

The Walmart store in D'Iberville has printed a bunch of fliers to hand out to customers.

"It kind of highlights some of the do's and don'ts of the tax holiday," said Chisesi.  "It also has a list of eligible and ineligible items, so our customers have a better idea of what they can and cannot purchase."

Keith Ambrose of Ocean Springs already knows what his two children need for school. He's holding off on buying certain items though, until the tax break kicks in July 31st and August 1st.

"I'm going to try to be here as bright and early as possible," said Ambrose.  "They may be sleeping in for the last week before school, but my wife and I are definitely going to be out trying to get everything on that list as we can."

When you think back to school shopping, you probably think book bags, pens, paper and notebooks.  But unfortunately, school supplies are not eligible for the sales tax holiday.

And there's another condition.  Any piece of clothing or pair of shoes that you buy must cost less than $100.  Stores will pre-program their cash registers to deduct the seven-percent sales tax.

"This is our first year.  Hopefully that will keep folks home, making their purchases local in Mississippi so that we can benefit from that," said Chisesi.

"Yeah, we're looking forward to it.  I know the kids are looking forward to going back to school, right?" Ambrose asked his kids.

"Kinda," the kids responded.

There are some interesting items that either qualify or don't qualify for the tax-waiver.   For instance, swimsuits, baby clothes, even pajamas are eligible.  However, football pads and shoes with cleats are not.  For a complete list, click here, or go to www.mstc.state.ms.us.

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