West Virginia Governor Vetoes Gun Sales Tax Holiday
April 6, 2010
West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin has vetoed a gun sales tax holiday proposal, citing concerns over the potential for lost revenue. Not only will the holiday cost the state an estimated $25,000 annually in untaxed gun purchases, but that the holiday may put the state in violation of the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA) resulting in the annual loss of $3 million in revenue from businesses that have agreed to abide by the SSUTA (more info on the SSUTA and the Streamlined Sales Tax Project).
Manchin is right to reject the gun sales tax holiday. Sales tax holidays are a political gimmick that only benefits a small minority of the population and there is no sound economic justification for such a policy. If lawmakers want to cut taxes, they should do so in a permanent and broad-based way, for example by cutting the general sales tax rate, thus benefitting all consumers regardless of what they buy or when they shop.