Sales tax holiday could benefit city

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 27, 2006

The upcoming sales tax holiday will be an opportunity to the residents of Demopolis, Marengo County, and the eastern part of Mississippi to save some money on school supplies.

It will also be an opportunity for Demopolis to spread it’s name as a marketable city.

“I’m hoping that we can attract business,” said Kelley Smith, president of the Demopolis Chamber of Commerce.

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“The State of Mississippi is not participating in the sales tax holiday. This will be an opportunity for our people to save gas money and shop at home.”

Since the city of Demopolis and Marengo County are both participating in the event, it will be a chance for Alabama to save up to nine percent on their purchase.

Right now, shoppers could save as much as nine percent – four percent state tax, two percent Marengo County tax and the three percent Demopolis city sales tax – on August 4-6.

“The first sales tax holiday was done in New York,” said Smith. “Currently 13 other states have a sales tax holiday.”

Some of the items that will be exempted are clothes defined as “human wearing apparel suitable for general use.”

Those items include dresses, coats, caps, gym suits jackets, jeans, pants, sandals, scarves, school uniforms, shirts, shoes, shorts and of course, underwear.

For a complete list of sales tax exempt items, go to

“I’m really looking forward to this,” said Smith. “This will be a huge boost to the Demopolis merchants. Especially since we sometimes lose a lot of shoppers to Meridian. This is an opportunity for them to stay at home and shop at home. Mississippi is not participating in this and that is going to be huge for us.”

The event, however, does have it’s rules.

Retailers are not allowed to split items that are normally sold together. They are also not allowed to offer rain checks. A rain check allows a customer to purchase an item at a certain price at a later time because the particular items were out of stock.

If anyone has questions about what retailers can and can’t do with items, they can visit

They can also call the helpline at 334-242-1490 or 1-866-576-6531. The numbers go to the Alabama Department of Revenue who are handling the Sales Tax Holiday.

While the event can be a positive for the state’s citizens, it does have a drawback.

Not offering the sales tax throughout the state for three days will reportedly short the Education Trust Fund $3.2 million. That’s an estimate of money’s spent on just non-taxable items.

“When people come in for the Sales Tax Holiday, they’re going to be buying taxable items as well,” said Smith.

The Sales Tax Holiday starts at 12:01 a.m., on August 4 and lasts through midnight on August 6.