Alabama's 11th annual tax-free weekend is here. It's supposed to coincide with the back-to-school rush except that for most of the Huntsville area, the school season has already begun. If you're already in the market for some outdoor gear, this is probably a good weekend to pull the trigger but it's not necessarily an enticing reason to go on an unplanned shopping spree. You may also want to check Amazon's prices first since it's basically tax-free all the time there.
Huntsville Outdoors doesn't give preference to any particular outfitter but we can tell you which items qualify for an easy 4% off minimum. What do we mean by minimum? Well, the state's tax-free weekend only exempts specified items from the 4% Alabama state tax. Cities can choose to join the state in waiving their local taxes or not. Luckily both Huntsville (4.5%), Madison (3.5%), and most others have opted in this year as usual. If you're not sure if your city participates then check this list. Bottom line is you'll pay no sales tax in most Alabama cities.
Clothing is going to be the biggie. You don't have to be in school or have kids to benefit from tax-free weekend. If you've been eyeing new hiking gear, you may be in luck. All pants, jackets, boots, moisture-wicking shirts, etc. under $100 each would qualify. Many of the top brand clothes with good tech features are going to strain that $100 limit so shop wisely and look for sales to stay under the threshold.
There is a sizeable list of clothing exceptions though such as sunglasses, belts, and other accessories. Unfortunately, hiking packs would not qualify even if you promised to only carry books in them.
Speaking of books, they qualify as well. We're not talking geometry textbooks either. According to the Alabama Department of Revenue, anything printed with an ISBN number counts. So survival guides, trail guides, and even books such as Into the Wild would all be fair game.
Note: All the stores we talked with are participating but you may want to call your preferred outfitter to verify.
Participating. No public sales but their Friends and Family Weekend coincides. You'll need a special card from an employee to get 20-25% off. And since Cabela's claims to employ 300 employees, there's a chance you may know someone.
Dick's Sporting Goods
Participating. Their weekly sale is in effect but nothing specific for Alabama's tax-free weekend.
Participating but no sales.
Participating. The only sales are on women's clothing--buy one get one free.
Mountain High Outfitters
Participating. 30-50% off select items.