Sales Tax Holiday Helps Parents Prepare Children For School

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By Ellen Kurt

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The start of the new school year is just weeks away. That means it's time to load up the cart with school supplies and new clothes for the kids.

All those items can add up quickly, but this weekend, during Iowa's annual tax holiday, parents can save a few bucks. This applies to any clothes or shoes under $100.

Families will spend an average of $635 getting their kids ready to go back to class. A big chunk of that, $345 on average goes toward clothing and shoes. Shoppers can take the seven percent sales tax charged in Cedar Rapids off of that, and they save a little over $24.

According to the National Retail Federation, the back to school shopping season is second only to Christmas. It brings in around $26.7 billion annually for retailers. That means retailers will likely be packed.

"We do bulk up a bit for every back to school weekend. This weekend we'll put more in the clothing areas to support this," Gloria Swann, Target Executive Team Leader, said.

Contrary to popular belief school supplies are not tax exempt this weekend, only clothing and shoes. However, many stores are offering sales and coupons on the back to school basics in hopes that while parents are outfitting they'll fill their backpacks as well.

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