That’s the sound you’ll hear in family households throughout the region as parents tally those expenses for another school year. The list of needs never seems to be short, and prices are higher for almost everything these days. But here’s a bit of good news: Georgia and Alabama are both holding tax-free weekends to help take the edge off some of those school-related purchases.
Columbus and Fort Benning shoppers can get an early start with a short drive to Phenix City or Auburn/Opelika. Alabama’s sales tax holiday starts at 12:01am on Friday, August 2 and continues through Sunday, August 4. Tax exempt items include clothing items priced at $100 or less, school and art supplies $50 or less, and computers, software and school computer supplies as a single purchase up to $750. Additional details are available on the Alabama Department of Revenue website.
The following weekend (August 8-9), Georgia holds its holiday. Shoppers save tax money on clothing items not exceeding $100, school supplies $20 and under, along with computers and accessories up to $1,000. The Georgia Department of Revenue provides more information on their website. The annual tax holiday was introduced over a decade ago but discontinued from 2009-2011 due to tight state budgets. With over one million kids expected to start school across Georgia, estimates indicate that families will save around $10 million during the two-day respite.
Buying without sales taxes is helpful, and savvy shopping can make good deals even better. Check those newspaper inserts and TV ads for sales and promotions. Look for unadvertised specials inside the stores. If you have a coupon stash, do a quick review for clothes and other school goods. Looking for popular items? Other folks are too, so start early if there’s something special on your list.
School expenses can take a bite out of the family budget, so any kind of a break is welcome news. Thanks to sales tax holidays in Georgia and Alabama, parents can get a little more bang for their back-to-school bucks.