HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — You can buy certain school supplies, computers and clothing here this weekend – and skip the taxes – during Alabama’s seventh annual sales tax holiday for school-related items.
The tax-free period begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday and ends at midnight Sunday. A long list of merchandise is exempt from the state’s 4 percent sales tax and sales taxes in Huntsville, Madison and Madison County, which are among the local governments participating.
What’s tax free?
» Clothing $100 or less. That includes belts, boots, school uniforms, coats, diapers, gloves and socks, gym suits, hosiery, jeans, neckties, pajamas, robes, shoes and sneakers and underwear.
» School supplies $50 or less.
» Books $30 or less.
» Computers and computer equipment $750 or less. For purposes of the exemption, a computer may include a laptop, desktop or tower computer system which consists of a central processing unit and devices such as a display monitor, keyboard, mouse and speakers sold as a computer package. Computer parts and devices not sold as part of a package with the CPU won’t qualify for the exemption.
A record 272 local governments participated last year. According to Carla Snellgrove of the Alabama Department of Revenue, the latest count showed that 211 cities and 36 counties had notified the department they were participating this year.
The first day of instruction for Alabama’s public schools can be no earlier than Aug. 20 this year. That means the tax holiday will fall two weeks before the start of school, “prime time to be shopping,” especially for school clothes, said Nancy Dennis, public relations director of the Alabama Retail Association.
Dennis expects apparel will still be the biggest seller during the tax-free period. Laptops, e-readers and tablets should also be popular items.