(Courtesy of Michael Hibblen, KUAR Public Radio.)
Arkansas is hosting its annual back to school sales tax holiday this weekend.
State and local taxes won’t be charged on Saturday and Sunday for clothing that is less than $100 per item and school-related merchandise. A complete list of items and exceptions can be found here.
The Arkansas Legislature approved creating the sales tax holiday in 2011, with the goal of helping parents prepare their children for the coming school year. It was patterned after similar sales tax holidays that have been popular in other states.
"The sales tax holiday has run very, very smoothly since its inception," said John Theis, assistant revenue commissioner for the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.
"The first year the holiday was in effect there were a couple of questions. After that first year, DFA got together with a group of retailers and said, ‘ok, what questions arose?’ and we dealt with those."
All retail stores are required to participate. Theis said national chains have had an easier time adjusting to the sales tax holiday, since the events have been held in other states.
"They have to modify their computer systems to not collect tax for the two day period and then be prepared to change back as soon as that holiday has ended. For the state, the changes really are minimal," Theis said.
He didn’t have figures of how much revenue Arkansas doesn’t take in because of the exemption, but says the impact to the state is minimal.