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Thousands of Missourians get ready for tax-free weekend

What to buy — and skip — in August
Posted at 7:48 PM, Aug 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-10 13:16:53-04

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — Thousands of families and teachers are ready for tax-free weekend in Missouri.

They will be hitting the stores to save money on everything from clothes and school supplies to high-cost items like personal laptops for their children.

It starts on Friday, Aug. 5 and ends at midnight this Sunday.

The sales tax exemption is limited to:

  • Clothing – any article having a taxable value of $100 or less
  • School supplies – not to exceed $50 per purchase
  • Computer software – taxable value of $350 or less
  • Personal computers – not to exceed $1,500
  • Computer peripheral devices – not to exceed $1,500
  • Graphing calculators - not to exceed $150

Local economist Chris Kuehl says the average American family is spending about 10% more on their purchases since inflation hit.

While he thinks people will pay for necessities like school supplies regardless of the economy, he predicts shoppers are much more sensitive to rising prices right now.

He expects retailers to take advantage of consumer behaviors as well.

“Retailers expecting inflation to get steadily more stressful as the year goes on, so they are wanting to capture as much early spending as they can," Kuehl said. "We’re already seeing people advance discounting for the overall holiday season."

Kuehl says shoppers can expect to save about 10 to 15 percent this tax-free weekend compared to any other week out of the year.

On the other hand, if a $900 laptop is out of the question, a tech repair shop in Blue Springs says most electronics have two to three more years left in them.

Often times, all it takes is removing viruses an installing a new battery.

“We’re seeing a huge influx of people who just want to stretch their devices longer,” Nathan Barbosa, store manager of uBreakiFix, said.

Barbosa says his store has seen a 125% increase in sales the past two months. Their revenue from July is up $10K compared to same time last year because customers are opting out of buying new.

“I have three kids myself, and buying them each a new laptop right now is out of the question,” Barbosa said.