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Alabama shoppers can save during this weekend’s school sales tax holiday

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Alabama Retail Association encourages families to participate in this weekend’s back-to-school sales tax holiday.

Inflation in Alabama peaked at nearly 7 percent last month. That could make this weekend’s sales tax holiday is a welcome break for shoppers.

The sale starts Friday at 12:01 a.m. and ends Sunday at midnight. School supplies priced at $50 or less will have their 4% sales tax waived.

But it is not just school supplies having their sales tax waived. Clothing, diapers, books, textbooks, tablets, laptops, computers and printers are also fair game.

Nancy Dennis is the Director of Public Relations at Alabama Retail Association. Dennis said the sales tax holiday has become quite the tradition for the state.

“This is the 17th tax holiday we’ve had,” Dennis said. “The tax holiday was created to save parents money in the first place, especially for those parents who have multiple children going back to school. This year is the third weekend in July. It’s the perfect time to get prepared for back to school and save money.”

The Alabama Department of Revenue reports nearly 300 cities and counties will participate this year. Alabama is one of 18 states hosting a school sales tax holiday. Some store locations may also lift their local tax on select items. This means consumers could save as much as 10%.

Although many items are discounted, some are not. School items such as paper towels and wipes will hold their sales tax.

Dennis said it is vital that shoppers plan ahead and research which items do and do not qualify for this weekend’s sale.

“Most of the things that are involved in the sales tax holiday are things that directly relate back to education,” Dennis said. “There will be lots of things on the school supply list that will still be taxed. It’s a very specific list. It’s a really good idea for parents to take the list available online at our website and compare it to [their] school supply list.”

Dennis said it is also important to know where to shop.

“We encourage everybody to shop locally this weekend,” Dennis said. “It’s a way to get folks into stores and the money and items you buy at these local businesses are feeding back into their employees and other businesses in the area. That money is circulating in the area.”

For a list of cities and counties participating in this year’s sales tax holiday, visit the Alabama Department of Revenue’s website at revenue.alabama.gov. For more information on this weekend’s tax holiday and a list of qualifying items, visit alabamaretail.org.

Joshua LeBerte is a news intern for Alabama Public Radio.
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