Retailers who update sales tax manually are in danger of overcharging their customers.

In this price-sensitive economy, retailers want to take advantage of any chance to lower their prices. But despite recent sales tax reductions and upcoming sales tax holidays, many retailers are failing to update their point-of-sale systems, resulting in a sales tax overcharge.

Consumers who should have been paying 1 percent less in sales tax since July 1 may want to take a second look at their recent receipts.

Sales tax in Arcata and Eureka decreased from 9 percent to 8 percent at the beginning of the month, while sales tax in Fortuna and McKinleyville decreased from 8.25 percent to 7.25 percent.

But some businesses have yet to program the tax change into their cash registers, said Janet Luzzi, Arcata’s finance director. As a result, some customers have noticed that the sales tax they paid at one business might be different than the sales tax they paid at another.

”The state’s additional 1 percent has been phased out as of the end of June and so that has caused the rate, for example, to go from 9 percent to 8 percent,” she said. “What happened is all these rates are programmed into various cash registers, and I think people just haven’t had their cash registers updated for the new rates.” —

There is a simple solution for retailers who want to give their customers the lowest price legally possible. It’s called sales tax automation. And it’s cheaper than you think.