AVERETTE: Tax-free weekend offers little reprieve for back to school shopping

Published 7:44 pm Saturday, July 15, 2017

Today I think it’s a struggle to go into a department store and buy a single pair of pants.

I’ve just always hated shopping. I’ll never understand the appeal of something like Black Friday. Dealing with those crowds is the last place I would want to be the day after Thanksgiving.

Plus, trying on clothes in a pain and so is waiting in line. And then if you have to make a return!

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If I have to buy something, I usually make a beeline for the item I’m looking for and try to get out as quickly as possible.

To be honest, I prefer online shopping. It’s just so convenient to buy something from your living room in your pajamas. Then I remind myself the importance of shopping locally. You are supporting small businesses and also making sure your tax money helps improve local streets and schools. It’s important enough to make me support our brick and mortar stores.

However, this next weekend people will have the chance to shop locally tax-free on many items. The annual back to school sales tax holiday starts Friday morning and runs through Sunday.

Most clothes and school supplies can be purchased in Selma and Orrville without any state, county or city sales tax. While Valley Grande is not participating in the weekend, the state and county sales tax will still be waived there too.

The weekend wasn’t around when I was growing up. I imagine my mom would have enjoyed at least a little reprieve at the cash register while shopping with us four children. Back to school shopping was an annual tradition in the Averette household and included a trip from Greensboro, which then and now had just a grocery store and a dollar store, to the Walmart and malls in Tuscaloosa for a marathon day of shopping.

Looking back, I’m not sure how my mom quite managed to make sure all four of us got the right shoe size and everything on the back to school supply list.

I can’t even imagine. Props to moms and dads preparing for that fight this weekend! Good luck!

Here’s some of the items that will be tax-freee this weekend.

CLOTHING – $100 or less, per article of clothing. This includes pretty much every article of clothing imaginable but not accessories like cosmetics, jewelry, wallets, watches or sports and recreational equipment.


A single purchase with a sales price of $750 or less. Again most computers are covered as well as printers and printer ink. Video games and cell phones are not included.


Sales price of $50 or less, per item. This includes binders, paper, calculators, folders, pens and most other supplies you can think of.

BOOKS – Sales price of $30 or less, per book