Deep-discount ban would be ended by bill
BY BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau
Friday, January 25, 2013
1/25/13 at 5:17 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY - A measure filed by a state senator would allow merchants to offer deep discounts on goods legally.
Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, said Thursday that current law enacted in 1941 requires merchants to sell products for at least 6 percent more than they paid for it.
A December 2011 attorney general's opinion confirmed that state law banned "Black Friday" and other low-price sales, even if they were just temporary, Holt said.
As a result, Oklahoma shoppers are paying more for items such as televisions compared with shoppers in other states when merchants offer sales such as on "Black Friday" and during other events.
A Nov. 22 advertisement for Walmart advertised 32-inch televisions for $210 in Oklahoma, compared with $148 for the same product in another state, Holt said.
When residents leave the state to buy products, Oklahoma loses sales taxes, he said.
Senate Bill 550 would take effect Nov. 1. It would exempt the fuel and pharmaceutical industries, Holt said.
He said the current law is antiquated and was probably enacted as a way to protect profits.
"Oklahomans are well aware of the 'Black Friday' phenomenon that most Americans enjoy, and I think our consumers should be allowed to be part of it," Holt said. "If a retailer wants to sell a 70-inch television for $450 on 'Black Friday,' that's good for consumers. It's good for our economy. And it reflects a free-market decision that retailers should be allowed to make."
Original Print Headline: Lawmaker's bill would end ban on deep discounts by retailers
Barbara Hoberock 405-528-2465