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Tax holiday starts tomorrow

Merchants across Covington County are preparing for the wave of customers who will take advantage of the sales tax holiday this weekend.

Gov. Bob Riley signed the sales tax holiday into law in 2006, allowing cities and counties the option of waiving their own sales taxes to enhance savings for consumers and boost their local economies. Since then, the number of participating local governments has increased each year, with the number now at 241 cities and counties — including Covington County and the cities of Andalusia, Opp and Florala.

Although the tax holiday is primarily focused on back-to-school shopping, a number of items will be free of the state sales tax:

clothing priced $100 or less.

computers, software and computer supplies priced $750 or less.

school supplies and textbooks priced $50 or less.

school supplies, school art supplies and school instructional material priced $50 or less.

other non-textbooks priced $30 or less.

Also, there is no limit to the number of items that may be purchased tax-free as long as the purchase price of each of those items is below the amounts provided in the law.

This year’s annual sales tax holiday will be held this weekend, starting Friday at 12:01 a.m., and concluding Sunday at midnight.

J. C. Penney store manager Dennis Cockrell said the store will be offering many incentives, in addition to the tax holiday.

“We actually had a preview sale that started on (Wednesday) and will last until (today),” Cockrell said. “We’ve got a couple of coupons in there with $10 off on $50 purchases and $15 off of $75 purchases. Customers can use those during the sales tax holiday.”

Cockrell said the coupons will be good through Saturday.

“Sunday, we have our friends and family event which is where they share their associate discounts and you can get an extra in most cases 20 percent off just about anything in the store,” he said.

The J. C. Penney store is located in the Covington Mall on River Falls Street.

For Ward and Co., its summer clearance sale is still taking place and customers will be able to take advantage of the sale during the holiday.

“Mainly, we’ve got a lot of stuff on our summer clearance because it’s so hot,” Ward and Co. owner Mike Ward said. “A lot of people are going back to school in short sleeves. We’ve got a big selection of polo and Lacoste on sale right now for the guys,” he said. “For the girls, we’ve got all of our Lucky brand on sale back there, the jeans and the tops. We’re running a big sale for the tax-free holiday. It’s a big weekend for us.”

Ward said last year, he saw a good amount of traffic in the store due to the holiday.

“It’s been good for the last two years,” he said. “It’s always a big boost. It gets a lot of people in here especially with it being on Friday and Saturday.”

In Opp, the Peebles store has received “a lot” of shipments to get ready for the sales tax holiday.

“They’re hitting us with a lot of shipments this week to get ready for that,” Peebles store manager Kerry Bradley said. “There will be a lot of personnel this weekend available for customers.”

Bradley said the store did very well last year.

“We did well,” she said. “We made our plan better than what we expected. Anyone that comes and opens an account with us, even they don’t have a coupon we’ll offer them a coupon.”

For store information on the sales tax holiday, contact J. C. Penney at 222-8484; Ward and Co. at 222-7842; and Peebles in Opp at 493-4737.