Huntsville mayor recommends observance of tax-free weekend

Huntsville's top city leader seeks to reduce financial costs during the back-to-school shopping season.

Mayor Loretta Spencer will recommend to the City Council that the city observe, again this year, the tax-free weekend on August 3-5.  The recommendation is on the agenda for the council's meeting tonight at 6:00 p.m.

Mayor Spencer commented on the increased sales local businesses experienced last year.  "The tax-free weekend was extremely popular last year for businesses and residents from across the region. Local businesses experienced a great peak in sales and residents were able to save money on items related to back-to-school."

Last year was the first year that state sales tax was exempted for back to school purchases made in Alabama.  Huntsville serves as the regional shopping destination for residents across Northern Alabama and surrounding states.  The lift on sales taxes made the first weekend in August very comparable to the Thanksgiving sale periods in terms of volumes of local shoppers frequenting the stores and the number of people coming to Huntsville from surrounding regions.

"I had several people tell me that they enjoyed the weekend last year to its fullest in Huntsville.  Not only did they shop here, but they also stayed in our hotels and ate at our restaurants," Mayor Spencer continued.

The City Council unanimously approved Mayor Spencer's recommendation last year.

Governor Bob Riley declared the first weekend in August as a tax-free holiday for state sales and use tax on items related back-to-school.