Record number of towns join Ala. sales tax holiday

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A record number of Alabama communities will participate in a back-to-school sales tax holiday.

Authorities will temporarily stop collecting the 4 percent state sales tax on designated school supplies and clothing from Friday through Sunday. The local sales tax will also be exempted in 272 participating communities, which is five more towns than last year and the most since the program started in 2006.

The Birmingham News reports that one notable exception is cash-strapped Jefferson County, which could become the largest-ever U.S. municipality to declare bankruptcy.

The National Retail Federation estimates that Southern shoppers will spend about $615 per family on back-to-school purchases.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.