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Council supports sales tax holiday

By By Adam Prestridge
The City of Atmore will be treating its residents to an early Christmas gift in August.
In accordance with the Alabama Legislature, the Atmore city council agreed Monday to participate in the tax exemption holiday the first full weekend in August.
"It was adopted by the State Legislature and recommended for all cities to adopt," Mayor Howard Shell said during Monday's meeting. "I make a motion that we adopt this resolution supporting the sales tax holiiday."
The motion was passed unanimously by the city council.
The three-day sales tax holiday officially starts on Friday, Aug. 4 at 12:01 a.m. and ends at midnight on Sunday, Aug. 6. It exempts certain covered items from local sales and use taxes, and prohibit a county or municipality from providing for a sales and use tax exemption during the holiday timeframe.
According to Atmore city clerk Becca Smith, the city brought in $204,100 in September 2005, which is a direct result of sales tax revenue in August. Based on last year's figures and sales, if the tax holiday would have been implemented last year, the city would have lost approximately $20,410.
"Even though it's going to affect the city's revenue we certainly support the governor's efforts to encourage parents and students to shop close to home and keep revenue in their hometowns," Shell said. "Hopefully this will encourage more people to purchase items in Atmore that they might not otherwise purchase had they not been given an incentive. In that respect we certainly support the tax holiday."
Tax figures fluctuate from year-to-year depending on the economy. August sales tax numbers in 2004 didn't reach $200,000, which would have made the loss to the city considerably lower.
Other states such as Florida have designated sale tax holidays for years, which have proven to be successful. Alabama's exemptions include:
Clothing shall not include, belt buckles sold separately, costume masks sold separately, patches and emblems sold separately and sewing equipment and supplies including, but not limited to, knitting needles, patterns, pins, scissors, sewing machines, sewing needles, tape measures and thimbles. In addition, clothing does not include clothing accessories or equipment, protective equipment or sport or recreational equipment