Stores getting ready for sales tax holiday

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Alabama's 4th annual sales tax holiday weekend starts Friday, and area retailers are hoping it will bring a much needed boost in sales. Shoppers won't have to pay state and local taxes on many back to school items, and retailers hope they will take advantage of the discounts.

At Kmart and the Pants Store in Birmingham, managers are bringing in extra employees to help with the extra customers. The Pants Store is also waiving Jefferson County's 2% sales tax.

"It's tremendous, it does a lot for us," said Pants Store vice president John Gee. "It's our biggest day of the year. It's black Friday in summertime." UAB economist Dr. Bob Robicheaux said state sales tax figures are down 9% from last year, and retailers need a boost more than ever.

"This is a great time for tax holiday to come," said Dr. Robicheaux. "We certainly are optimistic this will cause August sales to be considerably greater than July sales in retail. Retailers need a boost." The sales tax holiday weekend runs from 12:01 a.m. August 7 to midnight on August 9.