Oklahoma tax-free weekend returns Friday

·2 min read

Aug. 3—The state's 15th annual tax-free weekend of shopping is near, meaning Norman shoppers can save a few bucks on their fall and back-to-school clothing purchases.

From midnight Friday to midnight Sunday, stores across the state and here in Norman will participate in the annual tax-free holiday weekend.

The State Legislature passed Senate Bill 861 in 2007, which benefits Oklahoma consumers by waiving the state sales tax of 4.5%, in addition to county and municipal taxes on certain purchases. The combined sales tax rate for Norman is 8.76%.

Clothing, footwear designed to be worn on the human body and the sales price of the article is less than $100 are sales tax exempt this weekend, according to the Oklahoma Tax Commission. Online purchases are also included.

The retail holiday does not include specialty clothing or footwear designed for athletic activity.

Any retailer selling these qualifying items may participate.

Norman business owners say the weekend is also beneficial to them, as it incentivizes spending, and the savings come at no cost to retailers, unless they choose to run additional deals.

Jerry Hatter, owner of Balfour of Norman, 792 Asp Ave., said while he doesn't see an uptick in foot traffic during the annual tax-free weekend, he does notice customers are more likely to decide to increase the quantity of their purchases due to the savings.

MetroShoe Warehouse in Norman, 2308 24th Ave. NW, generally sees a busy weekend on tax-free weekend, where customers can pick up shoes and accessories and take advantage of their special promotion, said general manager B.J. Hatch. They'll even pay taxes if the item is over $100.

Zac Webb, district manager for MetroShoe Warehouse, said their walls are stocked full of backpacks to head back to school.

The store covers the tax on every item this weekend, Hatch said.

"That includes Yeti backpacks, sunglasses, any item over $100," Webb said.

Webb said it's not uncommon to spend over $100 on one pair of shoes these days, and their additional promotion provides a discount by covering the tax for purchases that wouldn't otherwise qualify for the holiday discount under state law.

Jeff Elkins covers business, living and community stories for The Transcript. Reach him at jelkins@normantranscript.com or at @JeffElkins12 on Twitter.