Sales tax holiday is Aug. 1-3

Favorite Laundry owner Ashley Eiler works to get merchandise displayed in preparation for a previous sales tax holiday. This year's tax holiday is from Aug. 1-3. (File)

Favorite Laundry owner Ashley Eiler works to get merchandise displayed in preparation for a previous sales tax holiday. This year’s tax holiday is from Aug. 1-3. (File)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

Once again, cities and counties across Alabama are welcoming the new school year with the ninth annual back-to-school sales tax holiday. From Friday, Aug. 1, through midnight on Sunday, Aug. 3, shoppers will be able to purchase clothing and other back-to-school necessities free of state sales tax.

Additionally, some cities and counties across the state are participating by offering a sales tax break on back to school items as well.

“It is a voluntary type of thing,” Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce President Kirk Mancer said.

Not all cities and counties are participating in the back-to-school sales tax holiday, including neighboring Jefferson and Chilton counties, and St. Clair County is participating on a limited basis. However, Shelby County is offering a tax break along with Alabaster, Calera, Chelsea, Columbiana, Helena, Hoover, Pelham and Wilsonville.

“You have more people that are coming out to shop on these (tax) holidays,” Mancer said. “People will drive from Jefferson County to Shelby County to shop.”

The tax holiday is not only beneficial to shoppers, it is also a boon to businesses in participating counties and cities. Many items are tax-free for the weekend and shoppers often purchase more than just back to school necessities, Mancer explained.

“It really is a win-win for the communities that choose to participate,” Mancer said. “Folks that go shopping that (weekend) do end up buying more than just school supplies.”

Items that are tax free from Aug. 1 through Aug. 3 include clothing of less than $100 per item, school supplies such as pencils, pens, notebooks, calculators, and basic arts and crafts supplies, books of less than $30 per book and electronics, if the total purchase is under $750, such as printers, printer supplies, desktop and laptop computers.

Items not included in the holiday include clothing accessories, cosmetics, jewelry, specific sporting equipment, cellphones, video games and gaming systems, magazines and newspapers.

A complete list of taxable and non-taxable items, participating cities and counties and further information about the Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday can be found online at Revenue.alabama.gov/salestax/SalesTaxHol.cfm or by calling 334-242-1490 or 866-576-6531.