Claremore Daily Progress

July 31, 2013

Sales-tax holiday helps Main Street boutiques

Mark Friedel
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE —

The state’s annual tax-free weekend will begin Friday and last until 12 a.m. Sunday. Chain stores and small businesses are given a boost in sales just in time for the back-to-school season, and consumers have the opportunity to save money on clothing items and shoes.
Currently, Claremore sales tax rate is at nine percent. Of this, 4.5 percent goes to the state, 1.5 percent is used for Rogers County and the remaining three percent is distributed to the city.
Locally-owned business owners in downtown Claremore expect to see an increase in customers as sales tax will be waived on all single clothing items and shoes costing less than $100.
According to a July 9 NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, small-business confidence lost momentum in June. Eighteen percent of small-business owners surveyed reported “poor sales” as their biggest concern, up two points. Taxes and government rules and regulations ranked first with 20 percent each.
Hillary Melton of Hillary’s Boutique in downtown Claremore, said the sales tax weekend will mark the first anniversary of the business.
“It has been crazy the past week. People were calling every day asking if we are participating in the tax-free weekend, and we expect to do very well,” she said. 
Being a new boutique, Melton said she wasn’t sure how sales would be during the summmer.
“We were surprised to see business stay pretty steady and now we’re doing better than we ever could’ve imagined.”
Owner of Savannah’s Boutiques, Savannah Rentie said she is looking forward to the holiday after a successful tax-free weekend last year.
“We did good last year because we get quite a few people buying a back-to-school outfit or two. We get a lot of school teachers,” said Rentie.
Although clothing items and footwear are sales tax exempt, accessories, special clothing and footwear designed for athletic activity or protective use are not included in tax-free weekend.
For more information on the sales tax holiday visit the Oklahoma Tax Commission website at tax.ok.gov.