The seventh annual sales tax holiday begins today (Friday) across the state. While the intent of the holiday is to give Iowans a break when preparing their kids for school — Department of Revenue spokesperson Renee Mulvey says the holiday covers only the things needed to clothe your kid.

Mulvey says the legislation very specifically says “clothing and footwear”, but does not say computers or school supplies. She says the legislation would have to change to have those things included. Mulvey says there are some restrictions on the type of clothing that’s exempt. Mulvey says it’s typical clothing you would wear to work or school and as long as the item is under 100 dollars.

The exemption does not include special clothing such as athletic shoes, and there are other restrictions as well. She says jewelry is not included, fabric used to make clothing is not included, belt buckles are not included, but whole belts are included. Mulvey says mail-order, lay-away and internet merchandise is also included in the holiday. She says retailers have to take part today and tomorrow.

Mulvey says if they’re open and sell the qualifying items, they have to participate and don’t have a choice. Mulvey says a lot of people take advantage of the tax-free holiday and overall the tax saving add up. She says the first year customers save just over one million dollars, and since it has average about two million dollars. Mulvey says you can call and find out if something is tax exempt.

Mulvey says you can call 1-800-367-3388 on Friday, but no-one will be answering the phone on Saturday. Mulvey says you can also get the information on-line. She says you go and click on the link “sales tax holiday.” The Department of Revenue’s website says some 12 other states have sales tax holidays. Some of those states are like Iowa and include only clothing — while others also include school supplies.