Chelsea to participate in sales tax holiday

Responding to concerns from businesses, the city of Chelsea will participate in the Alabama sales tax holiday from Aug. 7-9.

This will mark the first year Chelsea will participate in the holiday.

Mayor Earl Niven said the council made the change to support Chelsea business owners and customers alike.

“Some of our businesses felt like people were bypassing Chelsea and going to other areas to save that 3 percent, and we didn’t want to do anything to hurt our businesses in Chelsea,” he said. “It will save the citizens of Chelsea dollars.”

The sales tax holiday is intended to save parents money while shopping for school, giving tax breaks on such goods as certain articles of clothing, books, computer supplies and school supplies. Communities that choose not to participate still charge local sales tax on those items during the holiday.

Traditionally, the city has given $5,000 to each of its five schools in lieu of participating in the tax-free weekend. This year, Chelsea will do both.

“We decided to continue (giving money) because it was so welcomed by the teachers,” Niven said. “We had included the $25,000 in the budget with the understanding we would participate in the tax-free weekend.”

Before this year, Chelsea was the largest Shelby County city not to participate in the holiday.