Don’t miss out on savings

It’s not often that government creates good tax policies, but in 2006, the Alabama Legislature enacted an annual sales tax holiday. As a co-sponsor of this legislation, I felt like this would be a step in the right direction for relieving the tax burden on those preparing their children to go back to school.

This three-day event allows all Alabamians to shop for clothes, computers, school supplies and books without paying the 4 percent sales tax imposed by the state. If there is anything on your list of necessities or even something whimsical you wish to buy in those categories the weekend of Aug. 6-8 is the time to act.

I urge you to take advantage of this weekend designed to give Alabama’s families a tax break.

Fifty-eight of Alabama’s 67 counties will participate in this year’s sales tax holiday, according to figures provided by the Alabama Retail Association.

Some 265 local governments, including many in Shelby County, will also waive their sales tax on the selected items. The average family with school-aged children in this part of the country will spend approximately $615 on back-to-school items this year, almost $111 more than what they were expected to spend last year.

Neither Florida nor Mississippi allows tax exemptions on computers. Mississippi only allows exemptions on clothes and shoes. And due to budget constraints, Georgia will not renew its sales tax holiday this year, opening our retail outlets to Georgians looking for bargains. Sales tax holidays occur in only 18 of the 50 states.

If you participate in the sales tax holiday, you are helping the economy of Alabama. August 2008 state sales tax collections represented an almost 24 percent increase over the same month sales in 2005, when the state didn’t have a sales tax holiday.

My household takes advantage of the sales tax holiday every year. It saves my wife and me a significant amount of money as we buy clothes and back-to-school items for our school-aged daughter.

If you are in the market for the items covered and you have the means to purchase them, I urge you to participate in Alabama’s sales tax holiday.

For more information, go to Revenue.alabama.gov and click on the link to the Sales Tax Holiday.