Retail sales in Alabama make significant jump

MONTGOMERY – Retail sales in Alabama experienced growth that exceeded double digits in the most recent numbers released by the Alabama Department of Revenue. Consumers spent nearly 11% more with Alabama’s retailers in April 2019 than the same month in 2018. The numbers reflect the strongest April on record for the state since 2006.

Sales taxes collected in May for April sales jumped to $213,849,912.41 in April 2019 from $192,681,288.61 in 2018. The Alabama Retail Association attributes the increase to strong consumer confidence and a late Easter, meaning shoppers had more time to spend leading up to the holiday. Nationally, May sales tax collections were also up about 3.2%. Retail experts say the growth is consistent with the pace of the economy and foreshadows ongoing strength in the coming months.

In addition, the state collected nearly $19 million in sales taxes from online-only and remote retailers participating in the simplified sellers use tax program (SSUT) in May for April sales, marking a 201% increase over April 2018.

The added SSUT revenues came, in part, from a change in state law, requiring marketplace facilitators to collect and remit sales taxes on behalf of third-party sellers. That change went into effect in January 2019.

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The Alabama Retail Association represents retailers, the largest private employer in the state of Alabama, before the Alabama Legislature and the U.S. Congress. Through sales of food, clothing, furniture, medicine and more, our 4,200 independent merchant and national company members touch almost every aspect of daily living. Since 1943, we’ve worked to promote what’s best for the retail industry in Alabama. Whether voicing the retail view when public policy is made, educating members about issues that impact them, negotiating rates for benefits and services or communicating the retail story, the Alabama Retail Association and its members are better together.