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Columbia and Jefferson City opt out of back-to-school tax holiday for the last time

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Columbia and Jefferson City are among the Missouri cities opting out of the back-to-school tax holiday again this year.

The Missouri Department of Revenue posted a list on its website of all the cities and counties opting out this year-- but this will be the last year cities, counties, and districts will be allowed to opt out.

Anne Marie Moy, a spokesperson from Department of Revenue, said in an email that starting January 1, 2023, "no political subdivisions will be able to opt out of the sales tax holidays."

City of Columbia spokesperson Sydney Olsen said the city opted out of participating in the tax holiday in 2004 and has opted out ever since. 

Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin said it has been common for cities to opt out, and Jefferson City has opted out for many years. 

"We appreciate our tax dollars and we do our best to put those towards services. It's a great benefit because in turn, they're getting good services from the city," Tergin said. 

Tergin also said Jefferson City will follow the policy change, but the council will have to decide how to make up for the lost revenue.

This weekend, Columbia and Jefferson City will still be able to charge its city sales tax.

According to the Department of Revenue, Missouri's back-to-school tax holiday started Friday morning and will run through Sunday. The state will waive its 4.225% sales tax rate on certain back-to-school items including school supplies, calculators and computers.

Residents of Jefferson City and Columbia will lose out on an extra savings of 3.75% or more via local taxes because they are opting out. Boone and Cole counties are among the many local counties opting out, as well.

An ABC 17 News analysis showed school supplies for a middle school student could run from about $85 to $130, depending on where they're purchased and what is purchased.

For teachers and students, the extra savings from the new tax exemption policy will go directly into their pockets.

Jessica Bullock, CPS Teacher and parent to an elementary student, says she thinks students and teachers will appreciate an extra tax savings next year.

"I know that it usually doesn't amount to more than a couple of dollars, but that's a couple of dollars, and we all need what we have right now," Bullock says.

Article Topic Follows: Education

Sarah Higgins

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