GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - As school vacation is winding down, parents and retailers are gearing up for the 5th annual back to school sales tax holiday.
Friday and Saturday, July 26th and 27th, have been set aside as an opportunity for shoppers to save money and a lot of people take advantage of it. Rhonda Roberts from Premium Outlets said it's a winning situation for shoppers and retailers.
"This has become a big time for our retailers," said Roberts. "We prepare for this. We bring in extra shipments. It's one of the biggest shopping times of the year because we have back to school specials plus the tax savings."
Store Manager Terri Flint and her staff are among those getting ready.
"We compare it to Black Friday sales. The people come in bus loads," Flint recalled.
The state's seven percent sales tax will be waived on clothing and shoes on purchases of less than $100 per item. Many stores promote sales in conjunction with holiday, which increases the savings. Some retailers even offer in-store coupons.
Manufacturer discounts are ineligible, but if the specific store prepares coupons, they do apply to the program's rules.
"We're sending out coupons via e-mail. We have signs throughout the store. Our staff is ready to go," said store manager Dee Danielson.
Mississippi is sponsoring the tax free holiday earlier than other states in the region. Saving $7 for every $100 spent adds up, and can make a difference for Mississippi families.
The sales tax holiday begins 12:01 a.m. Friday, which means shoppers can access deals at stores that are open 24 hours a day. The holiday runs through midnight on Saturday.
To see a complete list of the items that qualify for the tax-free weekend, visit: http://www.dor.ms.gov/docs/2013SalesTaxHoliday.pdf