By Bob Katzen
The House and Senate set Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14 as this year’s Sales Tax Holiday. This will allow consumers to buy most products that cost under $2,500 on those two days without paying the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax. This annual sales-tax-free weekend was made permanent in 2018 and gives the Legislature the authority to set the dates by June 15 each year.
Supporters of the holiday say it has been in effect for many years, would boost retail sales and noted that consumers would save millions of dollars. They argue that the state’s sales tax revenue loss would be offset by increased revenue from the meals and gas tax revenue generated by shoppers on those two days.
Opponents of the bill say the state cannot afford the up to $30 million estimated revenue loss and argued the holiday actually generates little additional revenue for stores because consumers typically buy the products even without the tax-free days. They say that the Legislature should be looking at broader, deeper tax relief for individuals and businesses and not a tiny tax-free holiday.