Retailers anticipate more consumers will take advantage back-to-school sales tax holiday from July 16 to 18

With schools and colleges back to in-person learning in the fall, more Alabama parents are expected to take advantage of the savings associated with the state’s back-to-school sales tax holiday.

Alabama’s 16th annual back-to-school sales tax holiday is July 16-18. This marks the fifth time the annual tax holiday will take place on the third weekend of July.

From 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 16, until midnight, Sunday, July 18, the state waives its four percent sales tax on school-related supplies and clothing. More than 325 cities and counties throughout Alabama will waive their local taxes as well. Check the 2021 Participating Cities and Counties list to determine if your local communities are participating.

Exempt items include:

  • Clothing priced at $100 or less per article;
  • School supplies valued at $50 or less per item;
  • Books that cost $30 or less per book; and
  • Tablets, laptops, computers and printers with a selling price of $750 or less.

(Resources for consumers and retailers compiled by Alabama Retail Association)

Sales Tax Holiday By the Numbers Infographic
(as shown above)

#ShopAlabama to Save $ and Stimulate Sales
The sales tax holiday provides shoppers a way to save money and support their local economies, especially those local businesses that sell the covered items exclusively, like shoe, children’s apparel, school supply, book and computer stores.

This year’s sales tax holiday will provide momentum for Alabama’s continued economic recovery,” said Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown. “Saving money for consumers while stimulating sales for stores is what this weekend is all about.”

Laura Player, center, is the owner of Sikes Children’s Shoes and Jack ‘n Jill Shop.

For many retailers across the state, the back-to-school sales tax holiday is one of the biggest sales weekends of the year. “The sales tax weekend is a big weekend for both my stores,” said Laura Player, owner of Sikes Children’s Shoes and Jack n’ Jill Shop in Homewood.

Sales across her two stores were slightly down during the 2020 tax-free weekend compared to previous years, but she is confident that the 2021 back-to-school sales tax holiday will return to pre-pandemic levels.

“With the state being completely open and more kids attending school this fall, I expect that sales will increase compared with 2020.”

Reason for Everyone to Shop
Although the sales tax holiday targets back-to-school shoppers, any consumer can benefit from the savings offered during the weekend. A wide range of items are exempt during the holiday, so there is a reason for everyone to shop.

Some of the widely needed items include diapers, printer ink, thumb or flash drives, printer paper and art supplies.

Full list of the tax-exempt items

The Alabama Retail Association encourages shoppers to buy from local retailers by promoting the use of the #ShopAlabama hashtag. “Shopping with businesses that have a physical presence in your local area keeps businesses open and your neighbors employed,” said Brown.

This release will be updated periodically as the sales tax holiday approaches. Look for more content on our Facebook page and @ShopAlabama on Instagram.



The Alabama Retail Association represents retailers, the largest private employer in the state of Alabama, before the Alabama Legislature and the U.S. Congress. Through sales of food, clothing, furniture, medicine and more, our 4,300 independent merchant and national company members touch almost every aspect of daily living. Since 1943, we’ve worked to promote what’s best for the retail industry in Alabama. Whether voicing the retail view when public policy is made, educating members about issues that impact them, negotiating rates for benefits and services or communicating the retail story, the Alabama Retail Association and its members are better together.

Nancy King Dennis | 334.551.0643 | 334.868.2195 (c)

Originally posted June 30, 2021

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