Friday kicks off Iowa's sales tax holiday - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Friday kicks off Iowa's sales tax holiday

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Those looking to save on school essentials will get some relief this weekend. Friday marks the start of the 12th annual Sales Tax Holiday in Iowa.

In an economy where pinching pennies counts, back to school supplies can really break the bank.

According to the National Retail Federation, from kindergarten to high school, spending this year will reach nearly $23 billion for parents. Those at the National Retail Federation also say the average family will spend just over $600 on everything needed for going back to school including clothes.

Not everything is exempt for the tax holiday. Most clothes are, but accessories, jewelry, and most sports gear are not. Also any single item costing over $100 will also be taxed.

According to officials with the Iowa Department of Revenue Iowans historically save between $2.5 to $3 million. This year they expect the savings to go up from that to $3.5 to $4 million.

"Over the past 12 years the sales tax rate was at five percent, of course it's at six percent now. Just kind of based on the sales tax returns and estimates they're projecting out, that's what we are expecting," said Victoria Daniels of the Iowa Department of Revenue.

Some critics say the sales tax holiday should be done away with. With states like Iowa having to cut their budgets, some people are saying a sales tax holiday is not "fiscally prudent."

In total, 16 other state besides Iowa also have some form of a sales tax holiday with all of them taking place in the month of August.

Five states including Minnesota have permanently exempted clothing from being taxed. In most cases the state sees clothing as a necessity and should not be taxed.

And while most Iowans view the sales tax holiday as a back to school benefit, anyone planning a wedding or expecting a baby may want to think again. Diapers, bibs, bridal apparel and tuxedoes are all tax exempt this weekend.

See a list of taxable and tax-exempt items from the Iowa Department of Revenue.

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