Weekly Address – July 22, 2021

From the historic hallways of the most beautiful state Capitol in our great nation, this is Senator Keith Ingram.


The Arkansas sales tax holiday will be better than ever, because the legislature added electronics and computer equipment to the list of exempted items.


Every year the sales tax holiday is the first weekend in August, which means this year it will be Saturday, August 7, and Sunday, August 8.


You will not have to pay sales tax on any articles of clothing that cost less than $100. This includes not only the items you would expect, such as pants, shirts, dresses and shoes.


It also means you won’t have to pay sales taxes on bathing suits, baby blankets, underwear, raincoats, uniforms, hats and caps, aprons, neckties, scarves and steel-toes boots.


Diapers, even disposal diapers, are included on the list of exempt items.


Accessories are also on the list of exempted items, as long as they cost less than $50. The list of articles is extensive, and includes handbags and purses, sunglasses, jewelry, hair notions, wallets, watches and wigs.


Cosmetics are included too. There are more than 65 types of cosmetics on the list of exempted items, including mascara, many types of hair products, fingernail polish and fingernail remover, bath salts, artificial eyelashes, perfume and stretch mark cream.


Don’t worry, guys. There are a couple of items for you on the list – shaving cream and tooth paste.


Of course, school supplies will be exempt from the sales tax. Although technically, we only call it the sales tax holiday, a lot of people refer to it as the “Back to School” sales tax holiday because the legislature intentionally scheduled it for early August, to benefit families with children in school.


The list of school supplies is pretty self-explanatory, but keep in mind it also includes art supplies.


Anyone with a kid in art class knows that the price of paint, brushes and sketch pads can add up quickly. At least you won’t have to pay any sales tax on those art supplies.


I’m thrilled that we have added electronic and computer equipment to the list of tax exempt items. However, video games and televisions are not included.


Arkansas families will save an estimated $2.6 million on purchases of electronic and computer equipment.


The sales tax exemption applies to single articles, and not to the overall cost of everything you buy.


For example, you can buy three shirts $25 each and a pair of pants for $50 and you will not be charged the sales tax, even though the total is $125. That’s because each item is less than $100. However, if you buy a pair of shoes for $120, you will have to pay the sales tax.


Essentially, there is no limit on the number of exempt items you can purchase, as long as each item costs less than $100 for clothes or $50 for accessories.


There is no price limit on electronics and computer equipment. If it is commonly used by students during their course of study, it will be exempted from the sales tax during the “Back to School” sales tax holiday.


From the Capitol, it is always my greatest honor and most sincere privilege to serve you as your state Senator. This is Keith Ingram.