Retail Detail. You Deserve a (Tax) Break Today!

March 21, 2008 • Shopping


Well this is encouraging news for those of us in desperate need of some retail therapy. With federal tax-rebate checks set to go out
this spring in an effort to bolster the sagging economy, lawmakers in
some states and cities are pushing to create sales-tax holidays to
encourage consumers to spend the money in stores.

Similar tax holidays were used last year by 15
states and the District of Columbia to stimulate the back-to-school
season. Now, Illinois, Missouri and New York City are considering
sales-tax holidays for the spring.

•Legislation introduced in the Illinois General
Assembly last month would create a four-day sales-tax holiday starting
May 23, the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. The bill would suspend
the 6.25% sales tax on purchases of up to $600. The $600 reflects the
size of the rebates: up to $600 for individuals and $1,200 for couples,
and an additional $300 per child. It would be Illinois’ first sales-tax
holiday. This is great news considering Chicago now has the highest sales tax in the country!

•New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn
is asking the state Legislature to authorize a week this summer when
the combined 8.375% state and city sales taxes would be suspended to
take advantage of rebate checks.

"Previous tax-free weeks in the city," Quinn says, "have been effective in spurring demand."

Riehl, of the retail federation, says store
revenue often increases up to 10% during tax holidays, in part because
shoppers buy much more than just the amount of tax-free products. That
extra spending, she says, offsets the revenue loss to states from the
taxes forfeited on goods covered by the holidays.

A survey last month by the NRF found that
consumers planned to spend about 40% of their rebate money, or about
$43 billion. Most of the remainder, the survey respondents said, will
be saved or used to pay off debt.

Source: USAToday

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