TUPELO – Six downtown Tupelo merchants are simplifying the state tax holiday. Today through Saturday, they will pay the sales tax on all purchases.

“Whatever they want to buy, we’ll pay the tax on it,” said Machelle Pitcock, owner of the children’s boutique Ladybug’s. “It’s the least we can do in these economic times and to remind them that downtown merchants care about them.”

The “Sales Tax on Us Week,” which started Monday, is a brainchild of the retail promotions committee of the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association.

In addition to Ladybug’s, participating retailers are The Main Attraction, MLM Clothiers, Monogram It!, Omi Boutique and Swirlz.

The event capitalizes on the state tax holiday on Friday and Saturday. The holiday exempts the sales tax on clothing and footwear if the individual items are less than $100. Accessories, such as jewelry, backpacks and wallets, are not included.

“We just thought that was too much for consumers to worry about,” Pitcock said. “And we thought it was something we could do for people shopping downtown because we are not the big box stores and we can pass (the savings) along to our customers.”

Retailers in the state must participate in the weekend sales tax holiday, which supporters said was an effort to give consumers a break for back-to-school shopping.

MLM kicked off the week with a low-key rib competition Monday. Co-owner Jimmy Long competed with three customers for the bragging rights of the best ribs. Long was defeated by his customers, with Jeff Michaels placing first.

Co-owner Joe Yarber said the showdown drew a crowd and was a nice start to the week. He said this is usually the slower part of the summer and he’s looking forward to the tax-free promotion this week.

“Anything to help the sales in our store and help the customer,” Yarber said.

Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or carlie.kollath@djournal.com.

Which stores?

This week, six downtown Tupelo merchants will pay the sales tax on any purchase through Saturday. Participating retailers are: Ladybug's; The Main Attraction; MLM Clothiers; Monogram It!; Omi Boutique; Swirlz.

Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal

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