Alabama retailers anticipate more shoppers this back-to-school sales tax holiday

Alabama retailers anticipate more shoppers this back-to-school sales tax holiday
Shoppers can save sales tax on a number of back-to-school items this weekend in Alabama. (Getty Images)

With schools and colleges back to in-person learning in the fall, more Alabama parents are expected to take advantage of the savings associated with the state’s back-to-school sales tax holiday.

Alabama’s 16th annual back-to-school sales tax holiday is July 16-18. This marks the fifth time the annual tax holiday will take place on the third weekend of July.

From 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 16, until midnight, Sunday, July 18, the state waives its 4% sales tax on school-related supplies and clothing. More than 325 cities and counties throughout Alabama will waive their local taxes, too. Check the 2021 Participating Cities and Counties list to see if your local communities are participating.

The sales tax holiday provides shoppers a way to save money and support their local economies, especially those local businesses that sell the covered items exclusively, like shoe, children’s apparel, school supply, book and computer stores.

“This year’s sales tax holiday will provide momentum for Alabama’s continued economic recovery,” said Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown. “Saving money for consumers while stimulating sales for stores is what this weekend is all about.”

For many retailers across the state, the back-to-school sales tax holiday is one of the biggest sales weekends of the year.

Laura Player, center, owner of Sikes Children’s Shoes and Jack n’ Jill Shop in Homewood, anticipates a bigger turnout this back-to-school sales tax holiday. (Alabama Retailer)

“The sales tax weekend is a big weekend for both my stores,” said Laura Player, owner of Sikes Children’s Shoes and Jack n’ Jill Shop in Homewood.

Sales across her two stores were slightly down during the 2020 tax-free weekend compared to previous years, but she is confident that the 2021 back-to-school sales tax holiday will return sales to pre-pandemic levels.

“With the state being completely open and more kids attending school this fall, I expect that sales will increase compared with 2020,” she said.

Reason for everyone to shop

Although the sales tax holiday targets back-to-school shoppers, any consumer can benefit from the savings offered during the weekend. A wide range of items are exempt during the holiday, so there is a reason for everyone to shop.

Some of the widely needed items include diapers, printer ink, thumb or flash drives, printer paper and art supplies.

Click here for a list of tax-exempt items.

The Alabama Retail Association encourages shoppers to buy from local retailers by promoting the use of the #ShopAlabama hashtag.

“Shopping with businesses that have a physical presence in your local area keeps businesses open and your neighbors employed,” Brown said.

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