Shoppers in South Mississippi may still have summer on their minds but the annual back-to-school sales dates are on their calendars.
July 25-26 are the days Mississippi's 7 percent sales tax won't be charged on clothing and shoes, whether purchased for children heading to the classroom or for anyone who wants to save on basics, summer liquidations and new fall styles.
The tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 25, and ends at midnight Saturday, July 26. The tax forgiveness applies to clothing and shoes priced less than $100 per item.
"We're already advertising it," said Michelle Rogers, assistant manager at Edgewater Mall in Biloxi. The mall hours will be extended to 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. both days.
The crowds at area stores are comparable with the days before Christmas.
"This is very important to the stores," Rogers said. 'They look forward to it every year,." Cash registers at the larger stores are programmed to eliminate the sales tax those days and Rogers said shoppers also can expect lots of summer liquidations and bargains.
The much-awaited Michael Kors store opens today at Gulfport Premium Outlets, and although the store's purses and accessories don't qualify for the tax forgiveness, shoppers will find a number of stores featuring school uniforms and other clothing and shoes. Hours at the outlets will be extended both days from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The sales tax forgiveness does not extend to bookbags, accessories, computers or school supplies, though those are included in Alabama's and Louisiana's tax holidays.
Starting this year, hunters will get a break on supplies during The Mississippi Second Amendment Weekend. Mississippi legislators approved a sportsman's sales-tax holiday, Sept. 5-6.
Kathy Waterbury, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Revenue, said the tax forgiveness is limited to sales of firearms, ammunition and hunting supplies. That includes archery equipment, firearms and archery cases, firearm and archery accessories, hearing protection, holsters, belts and slings.