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Shoppers set to enjoy a tax-free event

While residents of Selma are more than ready for the warm, sunny days of spring, an upcoming tax holiday will help them be better prepared for dangerous storms that become more frequent in the spring and summer.

The annual Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday will take place across Alabama Friday, Feb. 21 through Sunday, Feb. 23. During the weekend, items closely associated with storm preparedness can be purchased without any sales tax.

The list of items that will be tax exempt during the weekend includes batteries, plastic tarp, duct tape, bungee cords, portable self-powered radios plywood and smoke detectors, among other items.

Dallas County Probate Judge Kim Ballard said the tax holiday is a good idea for not only area shoppers and businesses, but also local governments.

“For the public, it makes people aware that we are entering a season where these kinds of weather emergencies and it’s a pretty good,” Ballard said. “And, we have tracked the results in the past, and this event turns in to a positive for the city and the county financially, because it increases shopping awareness in the general public.”

Ballard said in past years the loss of sales tax revenue over the tax holiday weekend is overcome by the increase in revenue to local retailers as more customers take advantage of the tax break.

Aiden Holley, owner of Holley True Value hardware store in Selma, said his store would likely add further discounts to items on the tax holiday list this year, as they have done in the past in hopes of attracting further business.

“We’ve done sales on these items before during similar tax holidays in the past,” Holley said. “And after you added up savings from the tax holiday and our price cuts, some of these things have been almost half off. A lot of this stuff, people won’t buy until they need them, but I think you might as well take advantage of the sales tax.”

Selma City Council President Corey Bowie said it was an easy decision for the council to vote for the city to also participate in the annual event.

“Whenever we can help the citizens of Selma keep some money in their pockets, it is always a bonus,” Bowie said. “And more than that, this will help everyone prepare for the weather we know we can get around here.”

The complete list of tax-exempt items can be found online at revenue.alabama.gov/salestax/WPSalesTaxHol.cfm.