Orlando Sentinel: Crist Should Drop Sales Tax Holiday

February 24, 2010

From the Orlando Sentinel editorial page today:

Gov. Charlie Crist — whose conservative credentials are under fire in his U.S. Senate bid from rival Marco Rubio — has called for reviving a sales-tax holiday for back-to-school shopping.

Mr. Crist and other backers of this 6-percent or 7-percent sale insist it will raise revenues by driving shoppers to stores. To hear them talk, it’s almost like printing money.

But count some prominent conservatives among the critics. A recent report from the Tax Foundation, a conservative think tank, panned the tax holiday as a gimmick that offers only minimal relief and shifts purchases from other times of the year.

Legislative analysts have estimated the holiday would cost the state treasury $44million or more. This at a time when lawmakers might have to close a $3billion gap in next year’s budget.

If Mr. Crist is trying to impress conservatives, he’d be better off with a credible plan to balance the budget.

Hear, hear. See the full editorial here.

For our research on sales tax holidays, see here.

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