Back-to-school savings coming soon

Published 3:31 pm Friday, July 20, 2012

Business owners such as Ashley Eiler of Favorite Laundry in Mt Laurel are working to get ready for this year's sales tax holiday, set for Aug. 3-5. (File photo)

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

Families in many of Shelby County’s municipalities can save money doing back to school shopping during the state back-to-school sales tax holiday Aug. 3-5.

The state sales tax holiday begins Aug. 3 at 12:01 a.m. and ends Aug. 5 at midnight.

Columbiana Mayor Allan Lowe said participating in the sales tax holiday is simply the best course of action for city residents.

“It’s clichéd to say we’re in hard economic times, but that’s still what we’re in, and it helps our residents,” he said. “I just hope everyone will take advantage of it.”

Lowe said he and his family “absolutely” plan to do their back-to-school shopping that weekend, including clothes and school supplies.

Hunter Lindblom, manager of the Staples store on U.S. 31 in Pelham, said the store’s numbers typically go up over the sales tax weekend, as people come in to purchase computers and school supplies.

“The people that come in tell me that it helps them every year,” Lindblom said. “I have seen an uptick in customer count year over year for the sales tax weekend.”

He cautioned that customers sometimes think everything in the store is exempt from sales tax during the holiday, which is not the case. The state designates specific items as exempt from sales tax, and everything else is still taxable.

“We do follow the state requirements for what’s eligible,” Lindblom said.

Items exempt include: clothing with a price of $100 or less per item; computers, computer software and computer supplies with a single purchase sales price of $750 or less; school supplies with a price of $50 or less per item, including art supplies and instructional materials; and books with a sales price of $30 or less per book.

Municipalities participating include Alabaster, Calera, Chelsea, Columbiana, Hoover, Montevallo, Pelham, Westover and Wilsonville. Shelby County will also participate in the tax holiday.

Harpersville, Helena, Vincent and Wilton will not participate in the holiday. Indian Springs does not charge sales tax.

For more information on the sales tax holiday and a specific list of what is exempt from sales tax, visit