The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

August 1, 2013

Sales tax holiday begins Friday

OTTUMWA — Getting ready to go back to school? This weekend is designed for you.

The Iowa sales tax holiday kicks in today and Saturday, giving consumers a break on many items they may be picking up for the school year. Iowa's sales tax of 6 percent is suspended on all clothing and footwear that sells for under $100.

Tim Kurtz, director of the Ottumwa Area Chamber of Commerce, said the weekend is a sort of kickoff to the back-to-school shopping season. But the relatively early date can take some people off guard.

“Sometimes this kind of sneaks up on people,” he said.

It's not just the state's sales tax that gets knocked off. The Iowa Department of Revenue says local option sales taxes are suspended for qualifying items as well.

The rules are simple for the most part. It's aimed at everyday clothing, not sports equipment or high-end fashion. The individual items purchased must sell for less than $100 to qualify. But items that sell as a group or pair (think shoes or suit sets), can't be split up to qualify.

The exemption isn't cumulative. You can buy as many clothing items that sell for $99.99 as you want, and none of those would trigger the sales tax. But you can't use a coupon or rebate to drop the price of an item below $100 and avoid the tax.

Kurtz said recent years haven't seen the kind of boost retailers would hope for. In fact, “the last couple years, sales have been flat.”

There's reason to think the same might be true this year. The National Retail Federation predicts the average family will spend $634.78 on back-to-school items. That's down about 8 percent from last year but up from both 2010 and 2011.

That concern has led some retailers to push awareness of the event, said Kurtz. But the comparatively limited scope of the sales tax break means it isn't a concern for every business.

Text Only
Local News
  • Kids … not cash OTTUMWA — From a project that started with nothing, supporters created a top-notch education facility for at-risk youth. Someone in on the project from the beginning shared the story. Wapello County Supervisor Jerry Parker addressed a community advis

    July 22, 2014

  • Staying healthy during extreme heat OTTUMWA — After unusually cool temperatures last week, it may have been easy to forget how the heat of summer feels, but an incoming heat wave will quickly remind you. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, heat is the No.

    July 22, 2014

  • Shooting ruled homicide OTTUMWA — The death of a man shot in Wapello County has been ruled a homicide. The Wapello County Sheriff’s Office on Monday received a 911 call of a shooting 4 miles southwest of Ottumwa. Deputies discovered Clinton Gus Leedom, 49, of Bloomfield, to

    July 22, 2014

  • 0723 OTT flood file photo Over $1 million to fight floods EDDYVILLE — It's not the way a town wants to get $1 million, but the damage suffered by Eddyville in recent floods has prompted the federal government to cut a check. Actually, it's Area 15 Regional Planning Commission, a community assistance agency

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Driver's license services temporarily suspended KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Treasurer’s Office has notified the Iowa Department of Transportation that it has suspended driver’s license services due to staffing issues in the county treasurer’s office. It is anticipated suspension of the services

    July 22, 2014

  • 0723 OTT Canoe Camp color photo -L -M -T Canoe Camp teaches water safety OTTUMWA — Six children at Pioneer Nature Area and Nature Center pond were making waves and getting wet as they flipped their canoes over in attempt to rescue each other. Since summertime and water activities go hand-in-hand, the goal of the activity

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0723 OTT Seth Techel mugshot -T Techel jury may begin deliberations Wednesday DAVENPORT — The jury in the third trial of a Wapello County man accused of murdering his wife may begin deliberations as early as Wednesday in Scott County, Davenport. The jury was excused mid-afternoon Tuesday while Judge Daniel Wilson, who continue

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Three appointed to Board of Adjustment OTTUMWA — Three new faces will appear on Wapello County Board of Adjustment, thanks to help from the county’s newspaper of record, the Ottumwa Courier. Four applicants applied for the positions and three were selected. New members include Marcia Week

    July 22, 2014

  • Slain woman's boyfriend: I didn't kill her DAVENPORT — A married man who had an affair with a slain Wapello County woman testified this morning that he did not kill her. Jason Tinnes, a jailer who worked with the late Lisa Caldwell Techel, said their affair ended shortly before she died. Tinn

    July 22, 2014

  • 0723 OTT Grass photo -L -T Is your grass too tall? OTTUMWA — Do you let your grass grow to 12 inches before it's mowed? Do you park a vehicle in your front yard on the grass? If you answered yes to either of those questions, you could be violating the Make Ottumwa Shine Committee’s proposed amendment

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook