Sales tax holiday begins in parish

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 2, 2008

VIDALIA — Today is a day without taxes, or at least some taxes.

Until midnight tonight, the first $2,500 of all tangible goods purchases — excluding prescriptions, meals, vehicles and services rendered — will be exempt from the Louisiana state sales tax.

The state sales tax is 4 percent of all purchases, or $0.04 of every dollar paid.

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The parish-level sales tax will still be in place.

In Concordia Parish, the sales tax is 4.75 percent of the purchase, or approximately 5 cents for every dollar spent.

After the state sales tax exemption and the parish tax are applied, a consumer will pay $2,618.75 for a $2,500 purchase, as compared to the $2,718.75 they would normally pay.

For those making smaller purchases, a $200 ticket will ring up at $209.50 instead of at $217.50.

The tax holiday began at 12:01 a.m. Friday.

At Rhino Graphics, which sells school uniforms, sales clerk Mallory Guidroz said the store saw a surge in business Friday.

“This is probably the busiest weekend we get every year,” Guidroz said. “I think the tax free weekend doesn’t just help them as customers but us as a business.”

Guidroz said she thought setting the tax exemption for the weekend was a good idea.

“It’s Friday, so people are getting paid and they have the money to spend,” she said.

It was because of that timing that Family Dollar manager Pat Thornton said she wasn’t sure she could measure the draw of the tax holiday against other days.

“We’ve been really busy, but it’s also the first of the month,” Thornton said.

Though much of the business at Reynolds Jewelry is repair work — to which the tax exemption does not apply — co-owner Teresa Reynolds said the tax holiday did help them facilitate a few sales.

“We had one lady who was looking around, and when we reminded her there wasn’t state sales tax today, I think that is what helped her decide to go ahead and buy it,” Reynolds said.