Stores all across the state are gearing up for the Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday. In fact, it's the third busiest time of the year for stores after Black Friday and Christmas holiday shopping.
"It's like the super bowl weekend for us. This tax free weekend beats out black Friday as far as our sales
go," said Kenneth Rountree, Manager at Simply Mac. " Some of these computers you know, it's upward of over a hundred dollars of tax. so if they come, as long as the computer is under $750, they could save over a hundred dollars just worth of tax off a sale. So that's huge."
Alabama's 11th annual sales tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.
This weekend, by law, the state's four percent sales tax is waived throughout Alabama. 293 cities and counties will also wave their sales tax for the holiday.
Items that will be tax exempt include clothing, $100 or less per article of clothing; school supplies, $50 or less for each item; books, $30 dollars or less; and electronics $750 or less.
According to the National Retail Federation, parents spend an average of $235 on back-to-school clothes, compared with just $107 on actual supplies for school
It's important to note that stores will not check your back to school shopping list, meaning you do not have to prove you are shopping for that. Even if you aren't a parent nor a student, you can take part and save on the sales tax holiday.
"Really, we tell a lot of people that you don't have to bring your back to school shopping list to prove you are doing back to school shopping. Anyone who is doing any shopping this weekend can save on the taxes. So if you need to get office supplies for your office, you can do that this weekend or if you just want to get a dress for some special occasion, all dresses even wedding dresses, count as under the tax free as long as they are $100 or less per item," said Melissa Warnke with the Alabama Retail Association.
You should also know there are plenty of items tax exempt you may not realize. Things such as pajamas, belts, hats, even diapers are tax exempt this weekend. Electronics include things such as laptops, tablets, printers, and computer supplies such as ink cartridges.
"A lot of people think because the state is not collecting that sales tax during this weekend, the state ends up loosing money. But when you look at the sales tax collections and the revenues from every August since we started the back to school sales tax holiday, the numbers have been bigger every year; they have grown every year except for a couple of times, one of those being right after the recession," says Warnke. "What we are seeing is that even though people are going out shopping and they are not having to pay sales tax on a lot of items, they are also purchasing things that are not exempt. So the state, in reality, is making extra money during the month of August."
Smart shoppers can also combine existing discounts in stores like Kohl's to earn rewards and discounts that will save them hundreds of dollars through Black Friday and Christmas.
"Clearly we've seen the trend every year that even through out the first couple weeks of school when people realize there's other things they want or need, Back to School is not a one weekend only event," Willis said. "But clearly this weekend there's a tremendous opportunity to take advantage of multiple and layered discount. In addition to the tax free, we have for Kohl's card customers the 15, 20 or 30% off their purchase. And we also have the rewards program, the loyalty program Yes2YouRewards which is phenomenal. You're able to earn and use discounts on every item and then we also have Kohl's cash. $10 for every $50 spent."
For a list of items, click here.
To check to see if your city and county are participating in the holiday, click here.
For more information on the holiday, click here.
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