LEE COUNTY, Ala. – With the Fourth of July right around the corner, people are stocking up on fireworks. Some folks make the journey from Columbus to Phenix City to stock up for the fourth.
Big Mama’s Fireworks is just a couple of miles from Columbus. Cindy Flowers, the owner says this year is expected to be a record year for firework sales, so she ordered more than usual. Flowers says this time of year brings a spike of 20 to 30 percent in business. She says since Georgia has made changes to their firework laws, her store has seen an increase in business.
Flowers says Georgia has a five percent upcharge on fireworks, as well as a $5,000 license fee per year to sell fireworks. In Alabama, the license fee per year is $200.
Shane Ushman drove from Columbus to make his firework purchase. He wanted to give a great firework display for his two sons. He says the drive is worth it. “You get the best of both worlds living right on the border like that,” Ushman said. “Everybody knows that the taxes are cheaper in Alabama for the most part, and it’s right across the river. I don’t really think of it as two separate places. Columbus, Phenix City: it’s all really the same. It’s definitely an advantage living where we live being able to take advantage of what’s available in Alabama and what’s in Columbus.”