By state law, the sales ax holiday begins on the first Friday in August and continues through the following Sunday. During this time period, the state's 4.225 percent sales tax will not be assessed on certain purchases.
Monett is the only major bi-county town to waive its city sales tax to encourage purchases in town for the occasion. The major cities of Springfield, Joplin, Carthage and Neosho have all opted out of participating.
In addition, downtown merchants will hold their 51st annual summer sidewalk sale from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
"The Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday benefits families, because it gives them the opportunity to save more than 4 percent on purchases of many clothing, school supply and computer items," said Alana Barragán-Scott, director of the Missouri Department of Revenue. "Families and students can begin to plan what they need to buy now and save when they make qualified purchases during the first weekend in August."
The sales tax exemption is limited to specific purchases. Exempt purchases include:
* Clothing that does not have a value of more than $100. Clothing is defined as traditional apparel, including footwear. Accessories such as watches, jewelry, ties, belt buckles and umbrellas do not qualify.
* School supplies, not exceeding $50 per purchase, that are used in a standard classroom for educational purposes. School supplies can include textbooks, notebooks, paper, pens, art supplies, backpacks, calculators, chalk and maps. Not qualifying as school supplies are watches, CD players, headphones, sporting equipment, portable telephones and copiers.
* Personal computers costing less than $3,500 qualify for the exemption. Computer software is also considered a school supply if valued at less than $350. Computers can include a laptop or tower, display monitor, keyboard, CD drive, printer and a scanner.
Barry and Lawrence counties are among the 51 counties that have pledged not to participate in the holiday. The only bi-county towns collecting sales tax that have not opted out of participating are Pierce City, Wheaton, Exeter and Marionville.