Governor joins panel discussing UAB online tax-loss study

UAB’s Robicheaux moderates discussion of potential loss of $1B in Alabama online tax revenue


A panel featuring Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley will discuss how potential federal tax law changes regarding online sales taxes will affect the state and retailers at an Alabama Retail Day event set for Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012. The discussion will be moderated by Robert Robicheaux, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Marketing, Industrial Distribution and Economics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who recently authored a study that estimates loss of sales and use taxes from online purchases will cost the state of Alabama more than $1 billion during the next five years.

“The loss of that much revenue also means the loss of thousands of jobs,” says Robicheaux, whose study concluded that Alabama is losing about $250 million in sales and use taxes and more than 4,400 jobs annually. “I am excited to hear directly how the state’s top political leaders plan to work with business leaders and help prevent what could be a catastrophic loss of revenue for our state.”

Alabama Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh; Jason Brewer, vice president for communications and advocacy at the Retail Industry Leaders Association; and George Wilder, president and owner of The Locker Room in Auburn and Montgomery and an Alabama Retail Association board member, will join Gov. Bentley on the panel. Wilder and Brewer will open with a summary of their perspective on federal efforts in e-fairness; the political leaders will discuss ongoing preparations to make sure all businesses in Alabama are treated fairly. The discussion is scheduled for one hour.

The event, part of the 31st annual Alabama Retail Day, will take place at 10 a.m. inside the Glen Iris Room at The Club, 1 Robert Smith Drive. Seating is limited to the first 150 registrants. Call 205-934-8840 to register.

The day’s other events include a luncheon at 11:30 headlined by William E. “Ed” Crenshaw, CEO of Publix Super Markets, Inc., whose career at Publix began as a stock clerk in 1974. After lunch, the Alabama Retail Association will name the 2012 Retailers of the Year and recognize three Alabama Centennial Retailers. Alabama Retail Day is hosted by the Alabama Retail Association, the UAB School of Business and Firestone Complete Auto Care.

This marks the seventh consecutive year that the UAB Department of Marketing, Industrial Distribution and Economics has presented the program, which aims to make students from every university in Alabama aware of the many and varied career opportunities offered in retail business.