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Tax Free Weekend for Back to School

Do you get all excited about saving money during Missouri’s back to school Tax Free Weekend? You do? Well, mark your calendars because it’s coming up August 1st-3rd.

back to school

I’ve got a secret, can you keep it? I’m not that excited.

Oh, I used to be. But Missouri’s big Tax Free Weekend always seem to fall on days that I wasn’t even home. For many years we were in Florida, visiting Rick’s folks, during tax free weekend. Hard to get into back to school shopping when you’re on the beach, literally a thousand miles from home.

This year I’ll be home since we already had our vacation, but I don’t know if I’m going to join the crowds. See, it’s “Missouri’s” tax free weekend. And as my friend Karen pointed out at Arch City Homes:

All of the St. Louis area counties are participating in the tax-free holiday, but you might be surprised at the cities and districts opting out.

As in, any municipality with a mall or shopping center will still charge you tax. Not that it matters that much…it’s in places like Des Peres (Bird Mall!) or Fenton (Gravois Bluffs!) you’re only going to pay 1.5% in tax.

My problem with the “tax free holiday” is the hype. Whoo-hoo! I’m going to save 7.613% on my back to school shopping!! Yeah, when was the last time you got excited about a Ten Percent Off Sale? Ever? How about never?

sales tax holiday

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t like handing over fat stacks of cash to the government when I’m pretty sure they waste most of it. But back to school shopping is a pain in the butt as it is so why shop with a crowd? Last year I had to scour at least three stores to find Mitch’s first grade supplies, including obscure things like fine tip dry erase markers, a purple plastic folder with prongs and yellow, blue, red and green plastic folders without prongs. All this while elbow to elbow with the hill folk who flood my Super Walmart whenever there’s a hint of a holiday sale. No thank you.

Of course, part of my problem with the whole back-to-school thing is that it happens in the middle of freakin’ summer. August! I know it’s a new year for the kids and we want to make a good impression, but dang it, I’m not buying new clothes in August. When I was a kid (ew, I hate when that phrase comes out of my mouth) back to school was in the fall. We bought jeans, sweaters, long sleeve shirts, maybe a new coat! The last time I bought my kid jeans during a back to school sale he outgrew them before it was cold enough to wear them.

But back to the tax free holiday.

OK, there’s one shiny spot about the Missouri Tax Free Weekend: computers are on the list. If you’re in the market for a new computer or tablet that 7.613% can add up. Maybe you’ll only save you $7 on a cart full of paper, pencils, crayons and glue, but on a $929.00 chunk of hardware, you’ll save $70. Just do me a favor, and make sure it’s on sale too.