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Sales tax holiday begins Friday

Back to school looms for shoppers

July 31, 2011
By JESSE HELLING, Messenger city editor , Messenger News

Summer vacation is drawing to a close.

The return to school is accompanied by a retail blitz in many households, as parents purchase new supplies for their young scholars.

The back-to-school season began a few weeks ago at Target, 2910 First Ave. S., said Sean French, executive team leader for logistics at the store.

Article Photos

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Fort Dodge Target Store sales floor team member Jordan Hergenreter, of Fort Dodge, arranges items in the store’s back to school section Thursday afternoon.

"We'll have different sales every week through Labor Day," he said.

Bargain-conscious shoppers will no doubt take advantage of Iowa's annual sales tax holiday, which begins Friday and runs through Saturday.

During that time, no sales tax, including local option sales tax, will be collected on sales of clothing or footwear articles under $100.

Fact Box

The 12th annual Iowa sales tax holiday will be Friday and Saturday. On those two days, sales tax will not be collected on numerous clothing items.

Clothing with a sales price under $100 is exempt in the following categories:

Baby bibs, clothes and diapers


Bathing suits

Belts with buckles attached


Caps and hats

Coats and wraps

Costumes (not rented)


Diapers (adult and baby, cloth and disposable)

Ear muffs

Formal clothing (not rented)

Gloves (general use)

Graduation caps and gowns (not rented)

Gym suits and uniforms

Hooded shirts and sweatshirts




Jerseys for athletic wear

Jogging apparel

Leg warmers

Leotards and tights

Neckwear (ties and scarves)


Raincoats and rainhats









Ties and suspenders



Footwear exempt from Iowa sales tax - shoes under $100 are not taxable if they are:

Cowboy boots


General purpose boots

Hiking boots

Overshoes and rubber shoes

Running shoes (non-cleated)


Shoes without cleats or spikes



Tennis shoes

Walking shoes

Taxable items:

Jewelry, watches, sporting equipment and specialty clothing like athletic wear or protective clothes are not eligible for the tax-free weekend. Iowa's Department of Revenue has compiled a list of rules for its sales tax holiday.

Source: Iowa Department of Revenue

Representatives from several area stores said they expect an influx of shoppers during the holiday.

"We're working to make sure we have plenty of staff on the floor," said Richard Mittan, general store manager of Sears in Fort Dodge.

Many retailers, including Sears, are dovetailing other promotions with the sales tax holiday.

Younkers will hold its annual warehouse sale concurrently with the tax-free time, said Amanda Lyon, assistant store manager.

"It's a huge clearance," she said. "We'll have a ton of items."

Younkers will also hold a back to school storewide sale, Lyon said.

Vanity, a clothing store in the Crossroads Mall, is also holding a clearance sale, said assistant manager Megan Durst.

Durst said that, typically, the tax holiday is characterized by higher sales.

The 2011 sales tax holiday will the 12th to be held in Iowa since the program's inception in 2000.

Contact Jesse Helling at (515) 573-2141 or



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