Sales tax holiday to fall in July for first time

COLUMBIANA – Shelby County will once again participate in the Alabama back-to-school sales tax holiday, which this year will be held in July for the first time.

The holiday had occurred in early August since its inception but this year will begin at 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 21, and end at midnight on Sunday, July 23.

During the sales tax holiday, shoppers have the opportunity to purchase certain school supplies, computers, books and clothing free of the state’s 4 percent sales or use tax.

Counties and municipalities can also participate by waving their portion of the sales tax paid by shoppers at the register, and must notify the state by June if they plan to do so.

Exempted items include apparel suitable for general use that costs less than $100 per article, computers or computer supplies with a single purchase sales price of $750 or less, and school supplies or instructional material that costs less than $50 per item.

Full lists of items that are exempt are available at AlabamaRetail.org/resources/salestaxholidays/back-to-school/.

In addition to Shelby County, local municipalities participating in 2016 included Alabaster, Birmingham, Calera, Chelsea, Columbiana, Helena, Hoover, Leeds, Montevallo, Pelham, Vestavia Hills, Vincent, Westover and Wilsonville.

The Shelby County Commission approved a resolution stating the county’s intention to participate at its April 10 meeting.

In other business, the commission:

  • Approved July 3 as an additional holiday for county employees. Commissioner Lindsey Allison said she was contacted by several employees about the possibility of having the day off, which is a Monday and the day before the July Fourth holiday, and County Manager Alex Dudchock determined the measure would not have a negative effect on the county’s operations.
  • Heard from Shelby County Humane Society Executive Director David Arias, who started in the position in November 2016. Arias said his first course of action was to look at the organization’s staffing and structure, then prepare a budget and now to develop a long-term strategy and fundraising. Arias said the shelter has been “innovators” in transport adoptions, with about 800 animals transported for adoption in 2016. Arias also said that the shelter’s live release rate has increased from about 30 percent in 2008 to about 70 percent currently.