116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Iowa's annual sales tax holiday Friday and Saturday will offer a small savings on certain clothing and footwear just in time for parents preparing to send children back to school.
For 16 years, Iowa residents and visitors have been able to take advantage of a law the Legislature passed in 2000 that requires all businesses to participate. Retailers like JCPenney at Westdale in Cedar Rapids look forward to the weekend each year.
'This is the biggest weekend we have so far this year,” said Barry Donovan, JCPenney Westdale general manager. 'We will probably do about 30 percent more than we would do on a normal Saturday this time of year.
”It's kind of like the ‘Black Friday' of the first half of the year.”
Donovan said employees have been busy getting merchandise out of the stockroom to the sales floor priced and sized.
'We have to get everything sized because we will not have a one-to-one ratio of sales associates to customers,” he said. 'Our system will automatically indicate whether merchandise is sales tax free.
'All of our sales associates are aware of what is eligible and what is not. We have had fliers out for three weeks, explaining to our new associates what is taxed so they can answer any questions from customers.”
The Iowa Department of Revenue expects the tax holiday to cost the state and local government about $3.7 million in revenue this year, up from $3.6 million in 2015. Retailers like JCPenney can offer additional savings, such as $10 off coupons for purchases of $50 or more, and the sales tax exemption will provide an additional discount.
The sales tax holiday does not apply to jewelry, sports equipment, clothing or footwear 'designed primarily for athletic activity or protective use and not usually considered appropriate for everyday wear,” according to the Iowa Department of Revenue.
The sales tax break also does not apply to items sold for $100 or more. More information can be found on what is eligible and what is not at https://tax.iowa.gov/sites/files/idr/documents/STHList.pdf