Sales tax begins this weekend

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, August 3, 2016

File photo School shopping is a big boost in sales.

File photo
School shopping is a big boost in sales.

Brewton, Flomaton waive sales tax

Brewton and Flomaton residents who shop at home can take advantage of the 11th annual sales tax holiday this weekend.

A trip to any area retail shows local merchants have readied the aisles and stocked the shelves in anticipation of the shopping event.
Second only to the winter holiday shopping season, the back-to-school buying season is expected to boost sales in Alabama by being the one weekend shoppers are certain to fill stores thanks to the fact that majority of purchases can be made tax free.

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County sales tax will not be waived as the Escambia County Commission elected to not participate, nor will city sales tax in East Brewton; however, city sales tax in Brewton and Flomaton will be waived.

By purchasing qualifying items, the average Alabama family with school-age children could save close to $63, while those with a college-age child could save as much as $96.
“The average family in the south is expected to spend $627 on school supplies,” said Nancy King Dennis of the Alabama Retail Association. “That figure jumps to $961.22 for those with a college-age child.”

The Alabama Retail Association (ARA) predicts Alabamians will spend almost $1.14 billion on back-to-school shopping. Alabama sales generally represent 1.5 percent of all retail sales nationally. The National Retail Federation projects $75.8 billion will be spent nationally this back-to-school shopping season. For many retailers, the back-to-school shopping period is their second busiest time.

“Outside of December, (the sales tax holiday) is probably our biggest weekend of the year,” Michael Gee, president and co-owner of the Pants Store and an Alabama Retail board member, told ARA.

Area municipalities are participating in the event, which begins from 12:01 a.m. Friday, Aug. 5, through midnight Sunday, Aug. 7. During that time, the state’s 4 percent sales tax is waived throughout the state while sales taxes levied by 293 cities and counties also will be waived on:
• clothing priced at $100 or less;
• school supplies valued at $50 or less;
• books that cost $30 or less; and,
• computers and computer equipment with a selling price of $750 or less.
And, the savings are available to everyone – not just for those with school-age children.
“They don’t check your school I.D. at the cash register and the items that are tax free are used by a broad range of consumers, not just those who are in school,” Dennis said. “Those interested in filling out their wardrobes and stocking their libraries and home offices also can benefit from buying during the tax-free weekend.”