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Oklahoma holds tax-free weekend Aug. 4-6 for clothing, shoes

Alicia Fraire / Red Dirt Report
Local shoppers can expect busy stores with the annual Tax Free Weekend in full swing this weekend.
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OKLAHOMA CITY- From Aug. 4 to 6, Oklahoma will offer the annual tax-free weekend, exempting qualifying shoes and clothing from city, county and state sales tax.

For some Oklahomans, shopping during the tax-free days is a money-saving tradition. For others, the deals just don’t justify fighting the crowds. Nevertheless, starting at 12:01 a.m. Friday, retailers will not collect sales or use tax on clothing and shoes that cost less than $100 per item.

According to Oklahoma state law, sales of any item of clothing or footwear with a sales price of less than $100 per article will be exempt from sales and use tax. This exemption does not apply to the sale of any accessories or to the sale of any special clothing or footwear primarily designed for athletic activity or protective use or to the rental of clothing or footwear.

For instance, shoes designed especially for sports or rental of footwear is not eligible. Accessories including jewelry, handbags, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, watches and other similar items carried on or about the human body, without regard to whether worn on the body in a manner characteristic of clothing are considered taxable.

For many Oklahomans, the tax holiday weekend is a boon, especially as children return to school.

“The whole weekend is tax-free, and my daughter and I are going back-to-school clothes shopping either Friday or Saturday... or both,” said Star Hawk of Oechelata. “We usually shop in Bartlesville and Owasso and hit at least four to five stores. We make it an all-day thing, and it’s fun.”

Leigh Ann Piersing O’Dell of Midwest City, where the tax rate is 8.35 percent, says she will take advantage of the tax holiday while shopping for her two daughters.

“Each year, we have to buy stuff for school, so why not get it cheaper,” she said. “Also, with my husband’s job, he has to buy his own work uniforms and boots, so we get those too.”

Others said they had already bought school items or felt the savings weren't worth battling the crowds at the stores.

“I don’t participate,” said Roxi J. Elliott of Oklahoma City, where the sales tax is 8.375 percent. “I have social anxiety and stores are insanely packed that weekend. The savings are not worth the crowds. I used to work retail, and so if I can be one less person making their lives hell, I will. I don't shop Black Friday weekend either.”

Isaac Schlosser of Oklahoma City also felt the savings were not worth the hassle.

“It's never worth the savings. You can plan better and save a lot more money,” he said.

The Oklahoma Legislature passed Senate Bill 861 during the 2007 Legislative Session to benefit both consumers and retailers in the state by providing sales tax exempt shopping to provide a boost in the economy. All retailers are required by state law to participate.

According to the law, if a retailer offers a discount to reduce the price of an eligible item to less than $100, the item will qualify for the sales tax exemption. This applies to all discounts even if a retailer’s coupon or loyalty card is required to secure the discount. If a retailer accepts a coupon that entitles the retailer to third-party reimbursements, such as a manufacturer’s coupon, the discount provided by the coupon does not reduce the item’s sales price for purposes of determining whether the item is eligible for the exemption.

Eligible items sold to purchasers by mail, telephone, email or internet shall qualify for the sales tax exemption if the customer orders and pays for the item and the retailer accepts the order during the exemption period for immediate shipment, even if delivery is made after the exemption period.

For more information, click here.


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Heide Brandes

Heide Brandes is an award-winning journalist and editor with more than 18 years of experience....

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