Sales Tax Holiday Bill Gets Public Hearing

MacIver News Service | January 7, 2014

[Madison, Wisc…] A sales tax holiday bill, authored by Rep. Chad Weininger (R-Green Bay) and Sen. Rick Gudex (R-Fond du Lac), had its first public hearing on Tuesday in the Assembly Committee on Small Business Development.

The bill would create a sales tax holiday in August and November for specific purchased items.

The first holiday would relate to school supplies. Sales taxes would be exempted for the first weekend in August on any clothing or school supplies that are no more than $75 per item, any computer purchased for personal use that is less than $2,000, computer supplies that are less than $250 per item, and school instructional materials no more than $300 per item.

The second tax holiday weekend would take place the first weekend of November. Any item that is labeled as an Energy Star product would be exempt.

Gudex said the sales tax holiday would provide important tax relief to families and help spur the Wisconsin economy.

“While we expect this to be a boon to retailers, we also know it will make a difference for working families,” Gudex said at the hearing.

The bill has its detractors, however. Rep. Mandy Wright (D-Wausau) cited a Tax Foundation study that shows sales tax holidays are rarely good fiscal policy.

Wright quoted the study that reads, “Sales tax holidays do not promote economic growth or significantly increase consumer purchases; the evidence shows that they simply shift the timing of purchases.”

The bill has yet to be scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate.