Selma, Orrville participating in tax holiday

Published 10:13 pm Thursday, July 28, 2016

By Samantha Bolden | The Selma Times-Journal

The annual back to school sales tax holiday will give shoppers the opportunity to purchase school supplies, computers and clothing free of state and local sales tax.

The 11th Alabama Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday will begin Friday, Aug. 7 at 12:01 a.m. and last until midnight on Sunday, Aug. 9.

“You don’t have to be a student or even an Alabama resident to save money the weekend of Aug. 5-7 because of the annual Back-to-School Sales Tax holiday,” said State Revenue Commissioner Julie Magee in an official press release. “Products include items such as clothing, sports equipment, computers, and of course school supplies.”

Though retailers are required to participate, counties and cities are given the opportunity to opt in or out of the holiday.

The city of Selma, Orrville and Dallas County have decided to participate in this year’s sales holiday. Valley Grande decided to opt out of the holiday.

Local governments had to notify the Alabama Department of Revenue of their decision to participate by July 5. This year, 287 localities are participating.

“During this time, certain products can be purchased without the 4 percent state sales tax, and if the city and county are participating as well, that tax will be waived too,” Magee said.

Tax exempt items for clothing items include belts, jeans, sandals, school uniforms and more. Computers, laptops, compact disks, printers and other school computer supplies are tax exempt.

For school supplies, pencils, pens, binders, highlighters, index cards, and more are tax exempt. However, hand sanitizer and tissue are not tax free.

Required books that are less than $30 each are eligible for tax exemption, but newspapers and magazines are not.

Local retailer Hibbett Sports is already geared up for the back to school sales. Calvin Marshall, an assistant manager at Hibbetts in the Selma Mall, said that they have several deals in store for shoppers that could save them several dollars.

“Our sales are here for customers to save money,” Marshall said. “It’s not necessarily to help us make money, but for them to keep money in their pockets.”

For more information on Alabama’s tax free weekend, including a list of tax-exempt items, visit revenue.alabama.gov/salestax/salestaxhol.cfm.