Sales Tax Holiday Tweets

August 24, 2009

Supporters of sales tax holidays like to frame it as win-win-win: conservatives say they cut taxes, liberals say they help the working poor, and retailers get to boost sales. Of course, we routinely explain that none of that is true. Sales tax holidays don’t save much money but impose huge complexities and compliance costs (due in part to a micromanaged list of what qualifies), they are ineffective at helping the poor, and there’s no increase in sales because they are mainly just shifted in time.

Some posts from Twitter over this past weekend highlight some of these problems:

  • @Lisatastrophie: @ the mall, shopping tax free wkend. Nothing fits or is worth the $ and rude sales people!!
  • @RyanAmmon: I wonder how many people save the 8% from tax free weekend only to rack up credit card debt with a 13% APR or higher…
  • @SalmeenMajid: Took advantage of tax-free weekend. Sort of. I still got charged tax on my post-its and manila folders. Busted.
  • @YUHGURLC: Lol oops charged someone tax haha
  • @MeLoveLucy: Tax Free weekend….stay away from all stores that sell clothes or school supplies!!! Amen
  • @LReyes166: Theres no sales tax in oregon on anything!!!! Ahhhh i want to move there
  • @kplatte: Tax free weekend at Walmart. Oh no. Busy busy busy.
  • @sylviango: Nothing I want to buy qualifies for this wretched tax free weekend

Sales tax holidays are a political gimmick and a distraction from real reform. They cost states in revenue without providing any real long-term benefits. Lawmakers should be focusing on real tax relief and reform.

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