Iowa's sales tax free holiday kicks off today

Annual event runs until Saturday

Posted: Aug 3, 2018 8:20 PM

MASON CITY, Iowa - Iowans are taking advantage of the annual Sales Tax Holiday on clothing, which kicked off Friday.

Sandra Peterson is at Brown's Shoe Fit looking for a new pair of shoes, which like other clothing items, has no sales tax on them during the holiday.  She loves the ability to be able to save a few bucks, especially on shoes that she needs for health reasons.

"I've always come in here because...they are very expensive shoes...we're here today because you can get them cheaper."

She notes that when her kids were going to school, the weekend didn't exist yet.

"We really didn't have it when our kids were growing up, so we couldn't take advantage of it for their school clothes or their school supplies."

And she knows other families appreciate the weekend, especially those with lower incomes.

"It really helps them, particularly if they have three, four or five kids. That's hard to come up to get the money to get these tennis shoes."

When it first started out about two decades ago, it was a way to boost retail sales and also served as a way to get a discount on clothes for kids heading back to school, though Bonnie Lettow of Hampton says it has changed a bit.

"What you see even with the advertising is that other stores that aren't necessarily school clothing are doing it as well, so it's kind of expanded."

Scott Moorman of Moorman Clothiers has had a steady stream of customers come in Friday.

"It's always good when there's people here."

He says that the holiday is great for brick and mortar stores, and even though they have online stores to compete with, it's not the same as going into a traditional store.

"You can't touch it and feel it, you can't try it on, you don't get the service that we do, and that's the process we sell."

Iowa isn't the only state participating in a sales tax free weekend; nine other states, including Wisconsin and parts of Missouri, are also taking part.

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