According to the Revenue Department, shoppers in the state spent nearly $12.07 billion, up 2.66 percent from 2017. The numbers were just shy of the Alabama Retail Association’s prediction of $12.2 billion.
The National Retail Federation’s preliminary numbers show a 4.6 percent growth in holiday sales nationally.
The Alabama Retail Association said the state’s early adoption of tax policy related to online sales helped boost sales figures during the holiday season. A U.S. Supreme Court decision and a state tax rule broadened the collection of online taxes starting Oct. 1.
For the holiday season, those sales brought an additional $12 million dollars in tax revenue into the state compared to 2017. The sales reflected in Alabama’s simplified sellers use tax jumped 72.27 percent, or $154.5 million, in November and December 2018, from $213.8 million to $368.3 million. Alabama holiday sales for the almost 1,000 simplified sellers represent just 3.05 percent of total holiday sales in the state.
The Alabama Revenue Department reports sales tax collections on general merchandise, restaurant and other food service, automobiles, machinery and vending.