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Eight percent sales tax at Wal-Mart?
No, do the math
WalMart receiptsweb
A receipt brought to the Courier office today wrongly states 8 percent sales tax was applied to the purchase. The tax amount, however, is just under 6 percent.

Two customers complained Friday that Wal-Mart Supercenter on West Oglethorpe Highway in Hinesville was charging them 8 percent sales tax. One even brought in two receipts stating that the tax rate charged was 8 percent.

However, Liberty County Chief Financial Officer Kim McGlothlin said that about three weeks ago Wal-Mart changed their sales tax from 7 percent to 6 percent. This was needed because the county’s 1 percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax expired April 1, meaning the county’s overall sales-tax rate dropped to 6 percent.

And those customers were not really charged 8 percent. McGlothlin explained.

“I talked to the general manager at Wal-Mart who said, ‘One register is printing 8 percent on the receipt.’ But if you do the math on the receipt, it’s actually 6 percent,” McGlothlin said.  “When people tell us about still being charged more than 6 percent, all we can do is send that business a notice and a link, sending them to the state’s website about changing the tax.”

The Coastal Courier was able to confirm McGlothlin’s statement. One receipt a customer brought to the newspaper showed a subtotal of $23.86 for a watch and dog biscuits and a tax of $1.43 for a total of $25.29. The tax amount is really 6 percent of the subtotal, despite the tax line itself saying 8 percent.

The other receipt bears out the same thing. The subtotal was $12.88 for a digital watch, and the tax was 77 cents for a total of $13.65. Again, the tax amount is actually 6 percent of the subtotal, even though the tax line says 8 percent.

An email query sent to Wal-Mart’s corporate public-relations office was not immediately returned Friday.

McGlothlin said that as of two weeks ago, at least three Liberty County restaurants were still charging 7 percent sales tax.

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