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Hopes high for tax holiday

Four straight months of increased sales tax revenue in Alabama, coupled with the state of Georgia’s decision not to have a back-to-school sales tax holiday this  year, lead state retail leaders to hope this year’s tax holiday will be better than ever.
“In recent months, Alabama’s retail sales have slowly begun recovering from the Great Recession,” said Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown. “The August sales tax holiday should provide the momentum needed for Alabama’s recovery to roll right into the  holiday buying season.”
While the tax holiday is geared toward students and parents who are about the business of purchasing school supplies and back-to-school clothing, it’s really a holiday for all shoppers.
Throughout Covington County, shoppers will save state, county and city taxes from 12:01  a.m. Friday, Aug. 6, to midnight, Sunday, Aug. 8.
The taxes are waived on
• clothing priced at $100 or less;
• school supplies valued at $50 or less;
• books that cost $30 or less; and
• computers and computer equipment with a selling price of $750 or less.

During the first three years of Alabama’s sales tax holidays, statewide sales  tax collections for the month of August actually increased over the year  previous.
“The Alabama Retail Association hopes the state will return to seeing  an overall sales tax collection increase this August,” Brown said.
“Stimulating sales is what this weekend is all about,” said Brown.  “We expect the sales tax holiday to boost retail sales and spur purchases in other  segments beyond the tax-free items.” “Consumers continue to need savings and an incentive to  spend.”
Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Ashley Eiland said the organization encourages everyone to take advantage of the holiday.
“We also say, ‘keep it local,’” she said. “It is a great opportunity to save on your school supplies while at the same time supporting our local businesses. The dollars you spend here will come full circle and benefit your family, your business and your school eventually.
“Let’s help each other by shopping at home,” she said. “Let our money benefit our community and not someone else’s.”