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Tax-free clothes, shoes for Mississippi shoppers today, Saturday

Got your shopping lists ready, Mississippi? If you're looking for a new outfit and shoes to match, you might be able to avoid paying the state's 7 percent sales tax on your purchases.

This is the third year the Magnolia State has held a sales tax holiday. It began today, July 29, and will run through Saturday, July 30.

Check with your local stores. Since the law allows for the sales tax waiver until midnight tomorrow, some shops might be staying open late to get as many customers through the doors as possible.

The Mississippi event generally is considered to be the first of the annual back-to-school sales tax holidays. However, school supplies aren't tax free in Mississippi these two days.

Instead, the Mississippi no-tax option applies only to most articles of clothing and pairs of shoes. Each item must cost no more than $100. But you can buy as many $99.99 tax-free pieces of apparel as you want or your credit limit or spouse will allow.

The Mississippi Department of Revenue has put together a sales tax holiday guide that provides specifics on what you can and can't get tax-free. It also discusses the various shopping situations (with examples) that might or might not apply.

More tax holidays coming: Mississippi is one of 17 states trying to get customers spending as summer winds down by offering tax-free holidays for selected items.

Most of the holidays are next weekend and I'll provide you more information in upcoming posts.

In the meantime, here are the states readying for sales tax holidays in August:

Alabama (Aug 5-7), Arkansas (Aug 6-7), Connecticut (Aug 21-27), Florida (Aug 12-14), Iowa (Aug 5-6), Louisiana (Aug 5-6), Maryland (Aug 14-20), Missouri (Aug 5-7), Massachusetts (Aug 13-14, the Bay State legislature is still working on this bill, but its prospects for enactment are good), New Mexico (Aug 5-7), North Carolina (Aug 5-7), Oklahoma (Aug 5-7), South Carolina (Aug 5-7), Tennessee (Aug 5-7), Texas (Aug 19-21) and Virginia (Aug 5-7).

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