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Where to Find Back-to-School Items this Sales Tax Holiday

Tax free shopping weekend in DSM USA

August 3, 2018

This year, Iowa’s annual sales tax holiday is Aug. 3 and 4, which means for two days purchases on certain items are tax free. That’s a savings of six percent — the equivalent of the state’s sales tax. 

Items included typically fit under the back-to-school category and include clothing and footwear that's under $100.

While purchases can be made at large retailers and online, consider supporting locally owned stores around Greater Des Moines (DSM). When businesses and residents Look Local First, they create jobs, improve roadways, bolster schools, develop parks, grow businesses and make DSM even greater. Shifting just five percent of spending could add millions of dollars a year back into the local economy.

Here’s a selection of shopping districts that feature locally owned stores to consider this sales tax holiday:

Historic East Village

Located in Downtown DSM, the Historic East Village offers an array of one-of-a-kind shops and boutiques. With numerous parking options, it’s a breeze to stroll door-to-door to check out everything from boutiques to vintage stores and everything in between.

Historic Valley Junction

Get lost exploring the abundance of local retailers at Historic Valley Junction. It’s changed a little since the first structure was placed in 1846 but as West Des Moines’ one and only downtown, it offers a neat mix of old and new.

Main Street

The sales tax holiday offers an added excuse to explore the unique identity of DSM’s main streets across the region. From Altoona, Adel, Ankeny, Bondurant, Carlisle, Indianola, Johnston, Newton, Norwalk, Polk City, Windsor Heights, Waukee, Pella and Grinnell (to name a few), each main street offers character, charm and local businesses in abundance. 

Other shopping districts

Located on 42nd Street in Des Moines, the Shops at Roosevelt feature several independent retailers. While there, be sure to explore nearby Ingersoll Avenue — approximately 1 ½ miles of retailers, entertainment venues and small businesses. Uptown Ankeny is another gem to explore with more than a dozen retailers within walking distance of each other.  

Shopping malls

Everything is walking distance in West Glen Town Center in West Des Moines so its easy to check out the numerous stores there. That’s true too for popular destinations like Valley West Mall, Jordan Creek Town Center, Merle Hay Mall and Southridge Mall.  

Check out more local retailers and businesses across DSM on the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Directory. Happy shopping!

Learn more about The Partnership’s business resources offerings, including connecting locally, globally, workplace wellness, inclusion and more on the Business Resources page.

Meg Schneider

Meg Schneider serves as Senior Vice President of Business Resources and Community Development at the Greater Des Moines Partnership. She is a member of the Forbes Nonprofit Council, an invitation-only organization for senior-level executives in successful nonprofit organizations.