Prattville retailers prepare for Sales Tax Holiday

Sign at Prattville Kmart denoting Tax-Free Weekend - Photo by Marc Parker
Sign at Prattville Kmart denoting Tax-Free Weekend - Photo by Marc Parker

Prattville – Prattville schools begin another year on Monday and last minute back-to-school shoppers will be out in force this weekend, taking advantage of Alabama’s fourth annual sales tax holiday.

Retailers are required to participate and may not charge state sales tax on items that are legally tax-exempt during this time.

The state’s four percent sales tax and Prattville’s local sales tax will be waived for certain purchases beginning at 12:01 on Friday, August 7, 2009 and ending at twelve midnight on Sunday, August 9, 2009.

Items included under the sales tax exemption umbrella are school supplies with a maximum cost of $50 and clothing not to exceed $100. TJ Maxx, the largest off-price apparel retailer in the United States, also sells certain school supplies as manager Jennifer Rye at Prattville’s Town Center explained.

“We have a variety of items that will be exempt from sales tax; school supplies, clothing, backpacks, things like that. We’ll have no special sales, just our regular low prices,” Rye said.

Consumers may also purchase sales tax exempt books up to a cost of $30 and Books a Million in Prattville is preparing for the weekend with extra savings on items in the store.

“We’re offering an extra ten percent off for our customers who already have a member discount card, so that will give them twenty percent off of any item. Any item is eligible during this weekend,” said Ronald Spivey, night manager at Books a Million in the Prattville Town Center.

A single purchase with a price of $750 or less on computers, computer software, and school computer supplies are also exempt from sales tax. Best Buy, in Prattville’s High Point Town Center, will be experiencing their first back-to-school sales tax free shopping weekend since opening in October of 2008 and most everything in the computer area is tax exempt.

“It has to be back-to-school related in order to be tax free,” a Best Buy Customer Solutions manager stated. “It’s all computers and notebooks that are $750 and under; calculators are tax free because they are school related, but televisions are not. Basically everything in the computer section is covered.”

Prattville Mayor Jim Byard Jr. is cautiously optimistic about the upcoming weekend.

“We are looking forward to this weekend’s Sales Tax Holiday. Our historic data shows that we have not seen a marked decline in sales taxes that can be attributed to the sales tax holiday,” said Byard.

“I am an eternal optimist or ‘glass full kind of guy.’ So I would say that this annual tax holiday brings shoppers out that traditionally purchase additional items that are taxable. With that said, in today’s economy we will be keeping a watchful eye, as folks may stick to their lists of non-tax items this year.”

Article by Melissa Parker

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