Thinking of making a major purchase? You might want to wait till the first weekend in August, when you can forgo the 4-cent state sales tax on the first $2,500 you spend.

The annual Louisiana Sales Tax Holiday, Aug. 6 and 7, should be especially helpful for retail businesses in areas hurt by the Gulf oil spill.

“Sales tax holidays are great for families trying to stretch a dollar, but they’re also great for small businesses,” says Renee Baker, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business. “They get people excited and in the mood to shop, and that’s exactly what our economy needs right now. We think this year’s sales tax holiday will really help businesses along the Gulf Coast who’ve been hurt by the drop in spending since the Deepwater Horizon disaster this spring.”

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses account for about 98 percent of all employers in the state and employ about 54 percent of the state’s private-sector workforce.

The holiday provides an exemption from state sales tax on the first $2,500 of the purchase price of most individual items for non-business use. The state sales tax must be paid, however, on the portion of the purchase price of any individual item in excess of $2,500. The holiday does not apply to the sales taxes levied by parishes, municipalities, school boards and other political subdivisions of the state.

The 2010 holiday will be from 12:01 a.m. Friday, Aug. 6, through midnight on Saturday, Aug. 7. For more info click here.

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