By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Stores in Atmore and each of the surrounding taxing entities (with the possible exception of one) will apparently take part in Alabama’s 18th annual Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday, which will be observed across the state starting at 12:01 a.m. this Friday, July 21, and continuing through midnight Sunday, July 23.
According to the Alabama Department of Revenue (ADR) website, officials in Atmore, Brewton, East Brewton and Escambia County have announced they will join the tax-free weekend.
Gov. Kay Ivey this week encouraged Alabama residents to begin preparing for the school year by taking part in the annual sales tax moratorium, during which shoppers can save money while buying the supplies students need for the school year.
The savings come from the state’s waiver of its 4-percent sales tax, along with the waiver by participating municipalities, towns and counties of all or most local sales taxes.
According to the ADR site, Flomaton is the only area community that had not notified the state by Monday, July 17, whether it would participate in the sales tax holiday or not, but the city has suspended local taxes every year recently. East Brewton, which has the highest local sales tax rate, is participating for the second straight year, while Escambia County has reportedly never before waived its sales taxes.
The sales tax holiday was enacted into state law in 2006. Since then, the state and most localities have dropped their sales taxes for the weekend on traditional school supplies and computers, as well as school uniforms, gym suits and many other types of clothing and educational supplies.
“With summer nearing its end, I know Alabama families are beginning to prepare for the quickly approaching school year,” Ivey said. “During this tax-free holiday weekend, pencils, calculators, binders and other essential school supplies will be eligible for purchase without incurring sales tax. I encourage everyone to take advantage of this relief, so students, teachers and parents alike can be equipped for the school year.”
To see a full list of back-to-school items that may be purchased free of state sales tax — and most local taxes — during the holiday, those interested may visit revenue.alabama.gov and follow the prompts.