Calhoun County shoppers can snag school supplies sans state sales tax this weekend.
Alabama’s 14th annual Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday is ongoing from Friday until midnight on Sunday, with certain back-to-school items being sold without sales tax statewide.
According to the Alabama Retail Association, the waiving of sales taxes is limited to clothing, school supplies, computer equipment and books, with price limitations for each type of item.
Stacy Ratliff, manager at Martin’s Family Clothing in Oxford, said she expects the local retailer will host big crowds this weekend.
“We have a big increase in business with the tax free weekend,” Ratliff said. “It’s even bigger than our back-to-school sales.”
The annual tax holiday sees the 4 percent state sales tax waived on back-to-school items statewide, and local counties and cities are given the option to cut their respective taxes as well. Calhoun County, as well as the cities of Anniston, Oxford, Jacksonville and Piedmont, will also be waiving most sales taxes.
According to a survey by the National Retail Foundation, families with children in school are expected to spend $696.70 this year for back-to-school shopping on average, the highest number recorded by the annual survey.
“A lot of people try to come get back-to-school attire, your basic t-shirts and pants, from daycare all the way up to college students,” Ratliff said of the tax-free weekend at Martin’s. “Shoes are a big thing too this weekend.”
Ratliff, who has been with Martin’s to see the last two tax holidays, said families usually take the opportunity to buy in bulk at a reduced cost.
“You can’t really blame them,” Ratliff joked.
The annual tax holiday comes just in time for families to buy supplies with the start of school just around the corner.
Students of schools in the Calhoun County School District will return to classes Aug. 5, while Jacksonville and Anniston city schools will report on Aug. 6. Oxford schools begin on Aug. 7, Faith Christian School and Jacksonville Christian Academy on Aug. 8, and Piedmont schools on Aug. 9. Trinity Christian Academy students will return on Aug. 14.