Tax Free HolidaysSubmitted by Duane Vick on Sun, 09/23/2012 - 19:16
When I lived just outside Tennessee for a year, I learned that Tennessee had a tax-free holiday just before the start of the school year. Basically, the state sales tax was suspended on several types of items such as clothes costing less than $100, computers under $1,500, school supplies, etc. Now, what is funny about this tax-free holiday is that if a store has a 10% off sale, it isn't a big deal. However, if statewide you remove a 7-8% tax and suddenly it's like Black Friday in August.
Obviously, to convince people that we can do away with taxes seems to be a scream of heresy. I think we can move towards that in small steps. We can try to get ballot measures put on the ballot in as many states as possible to create a tax-free holiday weekend. If we get that weekend to be triggered to coincide with back-to-school, we should be able to get parents, teachers, and a large portion of the population to support the measure. I would suggest we push to have all sales taxes suspended on that particular weekend, not just small purchases. That way, we avoided picking winners and losers. If successful, in subsequent elections we try to extend the period to a week, maybe add other tax-free weekends, etc. There seems to be a trend where people vote themselves access to the treasure chest. We can use that behavior to our advantage. For example, if we got a tax-free holiday measure on the ballot, we could set up the measure to exempt Black Friday weekend from sales taxes. Opponents of the measure would be hard-pressed to get people to say no to not paying sales tax on the biggest day of the year.
Each state has different laws for getting measures on the ballots, but this is a way for grassroots groups to really lean on the government to scale back, at least at the state level.