NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - For the second year Arkansas will participate in a sales tax holiday. It starts next weekend.
The Arkansas legislature passed the sales tax holiday during last year's session to eliminate the state and local sales tax the first weekend of August each year.
In its first year officials with the Department of Finance and Administration branded it a success. This year, with a few changes and a little more explanation on what qualifies, officials expect another big weekend.
Back to school shopping is upon us. And for parents across the natural state - "Every cent counts. Every cent matters."
That's why state legislators pushed for a sales tax holiday for those back to school shoppers.
"We held our first sales tax holiday last year in august. And this year the holiday will be august 4th and 5th," says John Theis, Assistant Commissioner with the Department of Finance and Administration.
Theis says the tax break helps families with most of their school shopping.
"The holiday applies to clothing items provided those clothing items cost less than $100. It applies to clothing accessories provided those clothing accessories cost less than $50. Then it also applies to school supplies, school art supplies and school instructional material," Theis explains.
Just to clarify, that's $100 per item. You can spend more than $100 total and still get the tax break. Theis says they needed to make a couple changes this time around.
"There were some tweaks in the rule dealing items such as layaways and some tweaks in identifying what items did and did not qualify, but largely there were very few changes," Theis adds.
Theis says those layaway items do count.
Retailers say they, too, made some adjustments.
"This year we know what to expect with how much staffing we need. We prepared our retailers with a memo to explain what the procedures are," says Melissa Griffith, Assistant General Manager at Park Plaza Mall.
Comel Penn, a Senior Team Lead at Target in North Little Rock, says there's always room for improvement.
"We're adding more team members for our schedule. We're preparing the overnight crews so we can everything out for the guests when they come in to shop," says Penn.
As an employee and a parent Penn says saving money is important.
"I love to know that I'm going to be able to save, if I spend a hundred dollars, I'm going to be able to save $10 on my kids' school supplies," Penn adds.
Electronics are not covered under the tax break, except for calculators. Laptops and computers do not qualify under Arkansas' sales tax holiday.
The sales tax holiday officially begins next weekend at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, August 4th and at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 5th.