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By Christa Jennings
Senior Staff Writer
As parents and families get children ready for a new school year, this weekend is a perfect time to review school supply lists and get any needed items while saving some money.
Alabama’s back-to-school sales tax holiday began at 12:01 a.m. today, the third Friday in July, and ends at midnight on Sunday, July 17. This is one of the state’s two sales tax holidays, with the other being for severe weather preparedness.
The back-to-school sales tax holiday was enacted in 2006 so that no state sales or use tax is due on covered items that are defined in the law and in the Back to School Sales Tax Holiday Rule.
In addition to there not being any state sales taxes on exempt items, a county or municipality, by resolution or ordinance adopted at least 30 days prior to the third full weekend of July, may provide for the exemption of covered items from county or municipal sales or use taxes, as well.
However, not all counties or municipalities choose to participate in the sales tax weekend. Therefore, consumers might want to check first before doing their back-to-school shopping.
In Coosa County, the Town of Rockford is the only locale not participating in this weekend’s sales tax holiday.
Coosa County notified the Alabama Department of Revenue in April that it would be participating, meaning that shoppers can avoid county sales taxes, as well as state sales tax, on exempt items this weekend.
Additionally, Goodwater and Kellyton have previously voted and passed ordinances notifying the Department of Revenue, or ALDOR, that they would participate each year until voted otherwise. Goodwater notified ALDOR of that resolution being adopted in 2017, and Kellyton adopted a resolution and notified ALDOR last year.
ALDOR did not have information from the Town of Rockford, meaning that it did not adopt a resolution or notify ALDOR that it would be participating this year.
For those outside of Coosa County or shopping outside of the county, a full alphabetical list of localities that are participating in this weekend’s sales tax holiday can be found at www.revenue.alabama.gov/sales-use/alabama-back-to-school-sales-tax-holiday-participating-localities.
Those who are shopping this weekend will see state and other sales taxes waived on school-related supplies, computers, clothing, and more.
Examples of exempt items include clothing priced at $100 or less per article of clothing; school supplies valued at $50 or less per item; books that cost $30 or less per book; and tablets, laptops, computers, computer software, computer storage media, and printers with a selling price of $750 or less.
The Alabama Retail Association notes that with an almost 9% national inflation rate, this weekend’s sales tax holiday gives parents in Alabama an opportunity to take advantage of the savings.
This is the state’s seventeenth annual back-to-school sales tax holiday and marks the sixth time that the annual tax holiday will take place during the third weekend in July. Alabama is one of 18 states with a back-to-school sales tax holiday.
The amount of tax saved statewide on qualified items is 4%. However, with many counties and municipalities also participating, shoppers can save up to 10% in those localities.
The sales tax holiday provides shoppers a way to save money and support their local economies at the same time, especially local businesses that sell the exempt items exclusively, such as shoe, children’s apparel, school supply, book, and computer stores.
“The sales tax holiday offers parents a way to save on back-to-school needs,” said Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown. “Saving money for consumers while stimulating sales for stores is what this weekend is all about.”
The Alabama Retail Association also notes that while this sales tax holiday targets back-to-school shoppers, any consumer can benefit from the savings offered this weekend. A wide range of items are exempt during the sales tax holiday, so the association states that there is a reason for everyone to shop.
Some of the widely needed items that anyone can save while shopping for include diapers, printer ink, printer paper, art supplies, thumb or flash drives, and more.
For a full list of exempt items, see www.revenue.alabama.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/2022-Back-to-School-Sales-Tax-Holiday-Fact-Sheet.pdf.
The Alabama Retail Association further encourages shoppers to buy from local retailers as much as possible.
“Shopping with businesses that have a physical presence in your local area keeps businesses open and your neighbors employed,” said Brown.