Retailers want tax-free weekend

Published 2:00 am Saturday, July 13, 2013

One local retailer is participating in the upcoming tax-free weekend set in Alabama for Aug. 3-4 — an event both Brewton and East Brewton leaders chose not to participate in for the fourth straight year.
Sheri Davenport, co-owner of Bonehead Boots in Brewton, said she plans to pay the tax on all purchases made at her store that weekend to show her support for the community.
“Patrick (Davenport) and I decided to do this because we realize how important it is for people to shop locally and keep money at home,” Davenport said. “By people shopping at our store, it enables us to sponsor football, cheerleaders and churches that ask us for donations through the year. We want to support our community, but if people don’t shop locally, we can’t support others.”
Personnel at other Brewton stores said they will have prices that can compete with those in Pensacola — without the cost of gas.
Candace Davis, assistant manager at Hibbitts Sports, said that instead of a tax-free weekend, the store intended to have a special sale on school items on Aug. 2-3.
“We will have items on sale that will be comparable to what the Pensacola stores will offer.” Davis said.
Andrew Clark, owner of Weaver’s Fine Apparel and Jewelry, said they were going to have special offers for that weekend.
“Customers can get everything they need here in Brewton as they can in Pensacola, and not have to pay for the gas to go down there,” he said. “We already have good deals on at Weaver’s. Everything is marked down to at least 10 percent off and many items will be marked even lower. We are trying to make way for the new fall items that are coming in and plan on having some good sales. It is a great time to shop.”
City Clerk John Angel said the city’s participation in the annual tax-free weekend is the ultimate decision of the mayor.
“We won’t be participating this year,” Angel said. “It was discussed in a workshop. We only had to let the state know if we were participating or not. We would have to have a resolution if we were going to participate. Ultimately, the mayor decided we were not participating.”
Information on the Alabama Department of Revenue Website shows the city notification of non-participation was received in Montgomery on June 24. The deadline was July 2.
“I asked the mayor about it at the July 8 meeting and was told it was too late to participate,” Davenport said. “It’s upsetting because back-to-school is one of our biggest seasons of the year. When people think they can save money by shopping out of town just because they can save taxes, it hurts our business for the whole year.”
Shoppers in Brewton and East Brewton will get a slight break on their taxes on Aug. 2-3 — they will not have to pay the 4-cent state sales tax. But shoppers will have to pay the 4-cent city tax and the 1-cent county sales tax. The county has never participated in the tax-free weekend.

Lydia Grimes contributed
to this story.