Archived Story

Small vendors may not have to pay sales tax deposit for events

Published 9:10pm Monday, October 28, 2013

By KATIE MCDOWELL/Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Small vendors at one-day events in the city of Alabaster likely will not have to pay a sales tax deposit, city officials said during an Oct. 28 work session.

City council members discussed the city’s proposed one-day event license ordinance, which was introduced at a recent council meeting. Currently, the city requires businesses or vendors to pay a $100 one-day business license, if they are not already licensed. The fee is typically waived for events.

“We proposed (the ordinance) because the city hosts about 10 events a year,” City Administrator George Henry said. “Every time we were going to the council to have them waive the $100.”

The original proposal required businesses to pay a deposit determined by anticipated sales, and vendors with anticipated sales of up to $2,500 would pay a deposit of $50. Henry said the council used the city’s Fall Fest on Oct. 26 to receive feedback about the proposed ordinance.

Some small vendors at Fall Fest, most selling arts and crafts or homemade items, reported earning $25-$100 during the day and expressed concerns about the proposed deposit. Vendors are also required to pay a 4 percent sales tax to the city.

Henry said the ordinance is not meant to be “punitive or onerous,” and the city does not want the deposits to prevent small arts and crafts vendors from participating.

“It definitely makes for better events when we can have (that) participation,” he said.

The council discussed amended sales tax deposits during the meeting:

• $1,000 and under, deposit is $0

• $1,001-$2,500, deposit is $50

• $2,501-$5,000, deposit is $100

• $5,001-$10,000, deposit is $200

• $10,001 and above, deposit is $400.

Henry said the proposed deposits are meant to make sure the process is fair for all vendors, both big and small. It’s also meant to get the names of all vendors in the city’s system for sales tax compliance purposes.

“The whole point of this was to get them in the system and to follow up with them,” he said.

Henry said the amount of money raised from the proposed sales tax deposits likely would be less than $10,000 over the course of the year.

The council will vote on the proposal during its next regular meeting on Monday, Nov. 4.

 

  • vendor

    I have to say I was a vendor there and did not know anything about this tax. There was no mention of it when i went to the Parks and Rec center to pay my fee of $25.00 and it was not in the paperwork what little I got off the internet. I was there until 12:30 and sold one thing for $16.00 when I was packing up to leave. At about 9:30 that morning a man came around and said you know the city is charging vendors a flat $50.00 tax. I told him I didn’t know anything about it he said yea that is what I am getting from everyone else. I also told him that I knew about the tax to pay to the city I think it was like 4% or something. He said don’t shoot the messenger. In the article above it is a $50.00 deposit but a deposit is refundable so what is the whole purpose of it. I know I will not do vendor events in Alabaster anymore. This just sounds like another way for the city to make money and take advantage of small people trying to make a little money because they are calling it a deposit but it will never be seen again. I have done events in other cities and this is the first city that has done this. Plus waiting till everyone finally gets set up then telling them is not the way to get people to do events in the city. Not letting the vendors know before hand is wrong because I wouldn’t have fooled with it to begin with if I had know all this was going to be sprung on the vendors the day of the event.

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