Sales tax holiday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Selma to host seminar

By Deborah Goodwin

The Selma Times-Journal

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Back-to-school is a busy time for parents, students and retailers.

It’s also a time when customers put a crunch the checkbooks and the credit cards.

This year Alabamians are getting a break on their back-to-school bill. Alabama will have its first sales tax holiday for back-to-school purchases. The holiday officially begins at 12:01 a.m. Aug. 4 and ends at midnight Aug. 6.

During this holiday, school supplies will be sold exempt of the four percent state or use tax. The holiday comes by way of Act No. 2006-574, passed by the Alabama Legislature on April 17 and approved by Governor Bob Riley on April 25 ( During this period, Selma and Dallas County has waived its sales tax.

“I’m very pleased that the city and county took the step forward in participating in the tax holiday,” said Claire Twardy, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director.

On Friday, July 14, a representative from the Alabama Retail Association (ARA) will hold a back-to-school sales tax seminar to better inform retailers and the public about the stipulations of the holiday. The seminar will be held at the Carl C. Morgan Convention Center, 211 Washington St., from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

“I hope merchants will take advantage of meeting with the Alabama Retail Association to learn how to manage the tax holiday for their benefit,” said Twardy.

The seminar will consist of a PowerPoint presentation and speech by an ARA representative.

“This is for them to ask about the holiday itself.

Invariably retailers will have questions,” said Nancy King Dennis, Alabama Retail Association Director of Public Relations.

The ARA representative will also have a question and answer session. All shoppers – whether shopping for children or not – will be able to take advantage of the tax exemptions. Retailers as well as the inquiring public will have a chance to clear up their questions and concerns.

“Sometimes reading the rules is not enough.

It’s a time for them to talk one-on-one,” said Dennis.

Media will also be available concerning retail procedures such as rain checks, internet sales, gift certificates, gift cards and returns.

Although merchants will have a variety of items for sale during the holiday, all will not be “covered items.”

Some “covered items” that will be tax exempt are clothing priced at $100 or less, school supplies priced at $50 or less, books valued at $30 or less and computers and computer equipment priced at $750 or less. An extensive list of exempt and taxable items can be found on the Alabama Department of Revenue’s website –

It would be advisable to have this list in hand when attending the seminar.