Greener BeeGreen HolidaysSales tax holiday gets shoppers out in force

Tax Free

Tax Free

Customers shop during tax-free weekend at Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa on Friday. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World

Tax Free

Tax Free

Customers shop during tax free weekend at Woodland Hills mall in Tulsa, OK, Aug. 5, 2016. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World

Tax Free

Tax Free

Customers Holly Marnell and her daughter Lauren shop during tax-free weekend at Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa on Friday. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World

Tax Free

Tax Free

Customers Hannah Forbus and her mom Caren Codding shop during tax free weekend at Woodland Hills mall in Tulsa, OK, Aug. 5, 2016. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World

Tax Free

Tax Free

Customers (left) Hannah Forbus and her mom Caren Codding shop during tax free weekend at Woodland Hills mall in Tulsa, OK, Aug. 5, 2016. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World



Sales tax holiday

The free Oklahoma sales tax weekend begins ends at midnight Sunday with savings applying to clothing and shoes priced under $100.

“Clothing” means all human wearing apparel suitable for general use. Here’s a nonexclusive list of clothing that is exempt from sales and use taxes:

  • Aprons, household and shop
  • Athletic supporters
  • Baby receiving blankets
  • Bathing suits and caps
  • Belts and suspenders
  • Coats and jackets
  • Costumes
  • Diapers
  • Ear muffs
  • Formal wear
  • Gloves and mittens for general use
  • Hats and caps
  • Hosiery
  • Insoles for shoes
  • Neckties
  • Rainwear
  • Scarves
  • Shoes, including steel-toed, and boots
  • Slippers
  • Sneakers
  • Socks and stockings
  • Underwear
  • Uniforms, athletic and non-athletic

Items not exempt include:

  • Special clothing or footwear primarily designed for athletic activity or protective use
  • Jewelry
  • Handbags and wallets
  • Luggage
  • Watches and other accessories

It does not include items put on layaway during the tax-free period or items purchased on the internet but not delivered before Sunday.

For more information on exempted items, go online to Oklahoma Tax Commission.


Posted: Saturday, August 6, 2016 12:00 am
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Updated: 12:45 am, Sat Aug 6, 2016.

Sales tax holiday gets shoppers out in force

By SAMUEL HARDIMAN World Business Writer

TulsaWorld.com

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0 comments

Photo Gallery: We found the best sales tax holiday deals

Related: Sales tax holiday will bring out shoppers this weekend

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    VIDEO: Tax Free Day at Woodland Hills Mall

    The lack of sales tax and plentiful discounts at Woodland Hills Mall retailers opened wallets and loosened purse strings Friday morning.

    Sixty hours of sales tax-free shopping on clothes and shoes priced under $100 drew traffic to Woodland Hills from across the metropolitan area, as people readied for the upcoming school year.

    The sales tax holiday weekend is “Christmas in August” for the mall, said Eileen Neighbors, director of marketing and business development for the mall.

    She said the traffic and sales that the mall’s 160 retailers see during this weekend normally outpaces the combined traffic of Easter, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. The next big traffic day will be during the holiday shopping season.

    But the start of school doesn’t wait until then.

    Families, groups of friends and some people on their own wandered through the mall Friday. The pace was languid, unlike the frenetic bleary-eyed frenzy of late November.

    Qyon Reeves and Treshun Jackson walked slowly toward the food court. Each carried a pair of Vans shoes.

    For Jackson, it was a pair of white high-tops. Normally, they could cost north of $70, but the price had been marked down.

    With “no tax,” he just had to have them, Jackson said. And he might just come back for another pair.

    The sales and lack of sales tax bought Lauren Marnell one of the three pairs of shoes her mother clutched. Lauren, about to start fourth grade, is most excited about the silver Skechers that sparkle.

    Her mother, Holly Marnell, said the discounts allowed for the extra pair of shoes and “about twice as much clothes.” As she spoke, she raised a Gap bag so stuffed that the paper hardly crinkled when it moved.

    The concentration of retailers at Woodland Hills and in Tulsa brought shoppers from as far as Fort Gibson and Coweta. Tulsa, as it often does, leached sales tax from small cities around it Friday.

    Cade Cummings and Miranda Lindsay of Fort Gibson held hands and talked as they browsed Friday. Lindsay wasn’t looking for anything in particular. Cummings wanted a pair of buckle jeans because of the fit, and the discount.

    A trip to Tulsa was in order because Arrowhead Mall in Muskogee doesn’t have the same selection of retail, they said.

    That’s what Brooks Schauffler said about Coweta. Woodland Hills just has more variety, she said. She brought two of her kids and a friend of her daughter’s shopping Friday.

    She anticipated spending about $300 to $400, and the discounts would enable her to buy a few more things.

    It wasn’t just a sales tax holiday for families and kids going back to school. Brett Mattingly bought a green golf shirt with gray stripes at Dillard’s. He doesn’t golf often, he said, but wears shirts like that to work at the Holly Refinery.

    The sales tax holiday and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook’s contract extension took him briefly into Lids , where he looked for a hat but couldn’t find one he liked.

    Mattingly thinks the Thunder could be a fourth or fifth seed in the Western Conference this year, even with Kevin Durant’s departure for the rival Golden State Warriors.

    Just as the Thunder and Warriors compete for wins and talent, Oklahoma is competing with neighboring states with its sales tax weekend. Missouri and Arkansas have their exemptions this weekend. Louisiana, which doesn’t neighbor Oklahoma, has its own holiday this weekend. Due to fiscal pressure, it has lowered the sales tax rate this year.

    Kay Bell of bankrate.com said pressure from other states often forces states to have sales tax holidays, which are seen by politicians as a means to keep money in the states and provide immediate tax relief.

    She said the lack of tax dollars can add up.

    Paula Ross, spokeswoman for Oklahoma Tax Commission, said it’s tough to measure how much revenue the state misses out on during the weekend, but shoppers who go out are probably buying gas and eating lunch, which isn’t tax-free.

    Samuel Hardiman 918-581-8466

    sam.hardiman@tulsaworld.com

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