Tax Free Shopping in Mississippi

By: Mike McDaniel
By: Mike McDaniel

It's the one weekend a year in Mississippi where the state sales tax on certain items goes out the window, leaving store managers like Salem Boohaker with Belk at Northpark Mall, preparing for an influx of shoppers looking for a deal.

"We are fully stocked and ready to go for the weekend," said Boohaker.

The 48 hour shopper's dream is designed to coincide with back to school shopping. It begins the very first minute of Friday morning and ends at midnight on Saturday.

"It'll drive traffic in, especially with it being back to school," said Boohaker.

The seven percent tax break only applies to clothing and footwear and each item must cost less than $100. That includes items like hats and belts, but not accessories, like sunglasses and jewelry.

Although shoppers will be limited, Boohaker says additional sales will be combined with the tax break to help folks maximize savings.

"It is a big business driver and we're looking forward to a great weekend," said Boohaker.

Also looking to step into a great weekend is Justin King, store manager at Journeys.

"Just be ready to shop, " said King. "It's one of our two busiest times of the year. Besides Black Friday, this is it."

Like other retailers, King is increasing staff and making sure discount signs are in place.

"We've also increased our shipments. We've tripled them over the past couple of weeks," said King.

Restaurants are also looking to cash in. Kids can eat free at every McAlister's Deli in the state during the tax free hours.

"You have to make a purchase so that's a good deal," said McAlister's Northpark location general manager Melanie Winters.

Many stores will even be hanging around longer than normal. By offering extended hours, shoppers will have more time to save as stores hope for profits. State leaders say that's a win-win for Mississippi's economy. Back in the stores, that means a long day for workers.

"I have people saying they're going to be waiting at the gate for me Friday morning," said King.

To see what qualifies for the tax break log onto:

http://www.dor.ms.gov/docs/SalesTaxHoliday2012.pdf


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