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Hartselle passes sales-tax holiday

By Deangelo McDaniel 340-2469

HARTSELLE — Saying it is the right thing to do, a unanimous City Council for the second straight year passed a resolution authorizing a sales-tax holiday.

This means Hartselle shoppers will pay only 1 cent sales tax on the dollar for certain school supplies Aug. 3 through Aug. 5.

If the Morgan County Commission also adopts the holiday, which it did last year, Hartselle parents will be purchasing back-to-school items tax free.

Municipal and county governments are not required to adopt the tax holiday, which the state Legislature approved in 2006.

"This is something we needed to do because it's going to help a lot of families," Council President Kenny Thompson said.

The legislation allows the city to waive sales taxes on clothing costing up to $100; computers, software and computer supplies costing up to $750 per item; school supplies and textbooks costing up to $50 each; and other books costing up to $30 each.

Hartselle had almost another month to adopt the holiday, but city leaders said they wanted parents of schoolchildren to know they can shop at home and save.

With Wal-Mart, Maison Morgan and Factory Connection as the city's largest clothing sellers, the council expected revenue to decline last year.

"But, it didn't," City Clerk Rita Lee said.

Tax collections increased 2.8 percent during the month of the tax holiday last year.

The Legislature made the annual holiday permanent for the state after some business owners near the Florida and Georgia lines complained about losing customers. Those states had sales-tax holidays.

"This holiday will be good in Hartselle until repealed by the council," Mayor Dwight Tankersley said.

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