For specified items, the state suspends collection of its 4-cent sales tax, and most municipalities and counties sign on as well to help keep local stores on an even footing with those in other communities.
Talladega, Sylacauga, Pell City, Lincoln, Munford, Oak Grove and Childersburg are all participating this year, offering shoppers three days to save a bit on their purchases. The savings applies to certain school supplies, computers, and clothing free of state sales or use tax. Just about any clothing item costing less than $100 per item qualifies, but there are exceptions for some accessories, protective equipment and sporting and athletic gear. School and art supplies and instructional materials priced at $50 or less per item also qualify, and computers, software or supplies with a single purchase up to $750 qualify. See the state revenue department’s website for the complete list, http://revenue.alabama.gov.
Some criticize sales tax holidays as gimmicks, and sales taxes do weigh heavier on the budgets of low-income wage earners. But at least they offer a window of opportunity to stretch dollars a little bit further. We hope shoppers will take advantage of the opportunity.