Once a year, a third of U.S. states accord shoppers a chargeless canyon on advantageous the sales tax on back-to-school purchases.
Shoppers acknowledge in droves. Mall parking lots fill. Cash registers beep tirelessly. It’s like Black Friday for back-to-school and accouterment purchases, aloof not in Kentucky.
Shoppers in Tennessee, Missouri and Virginia will boutique tax-free this weekend, but the Bluegrass accompaniment has never offered a breach on back-to-school sales tax, and the achievability looks bleak.
According to the National Retail Federation’s 2013 Back-to-School Survey, families with school-age accouchement spent an boilerplate of $634.78 on apparel, shoes and food aftermost academy year.
Children in Christian County acknowledgment to accessible academy on Aug. 5. If the added than 8,700 accessible academy accouchement breach back-to-school arcade costs with at atomic one sibling, that’s about $3 actor in sales. Abounding of those dollars go to Hoptown’s southern neighbor.
Although the admeasurement was brought up in both the accompaniment House and Senate, Accompaniment Sen. Whitney Westerfield said abstracts assuming the accident of sales tax acquirement is all it takes to stop it from actuality added discussed.
“I don’t apperceive what the abhorrence is to abutment it,” Westerfield said. “I apperceive every time (Tennessee) has one, all of us boutique on that day. Everybody is bottomward there demography advantage of it. It’s a huge bang for bounded businesses (in Clarksville) and alike businesses that don’t abatement beneath the tax-free exemption.”
Supporters of the action adduce a “halo effect” generated by back-to-school shopping. From the morning Starbucks stop to cafeteria or an adventitious haircut, retailers who do not action back-to-school items feel the cartage too.
Westerfield said, “If Christian County had a tax-free anniversary how abounding bodies are activity to stop for cafeteria at Logan’s or O’Charley’s or East Meets West?”
Peg Hays, whose ancestors owns and runs Herb Hays Appliance city said she would be for a tax-free anniversary in the accompaniment because of the abeyant business it could bring.
“It would be a abundant way for Kentucky to acquire business. All the dollars that leave Kentucky to go booty advantage of a tax-free weekend, there would be an adeptness to stop that outflow. It would be huge. It at atomic care to be studied. They care to be able to acquaint us why we can’t accept that.”
Hays declared it as a ‘build it and they will appear philosophy’. If shoppers leave their houses to boutique for clothes they may adjudge to buy furniture.
Tennessee adopted its sales tax anniversary in 2006. The state’s administration of acquirement estimates Tennesseans save $8 to $10 actor in tax accumulation on accouterment purchases of $100 or less, academy food of $100 or beneath and computers beneath $1,500 anniversary year. But back shoppers save states lose, says the Tax Foundation, an independent, detached alignment which researches tax policy.
Michigan aboriginal offered a sales tax breach on automobiles in 1980, but the tax-free anniversary as we apperceive it was alien in 1997 back New York pushed to accumulate its back-to-school shoppers from traveling to adjoining states with lower sales tax rates.
Twenty-seven states accept activated the anniversary back then, but alone 16 abide to do so. States that do accord up millions in absent revenue, say admiral at Tax Foundation. Its advisers altercate that parents who accept to buy their accouchement cement sticks and markers anyhow are not affairs added but earlier. Sales are not added but shifted.
Instead of Kentucky’s own tax-free holiday, the Christian County Chamber of Commerce is blame a boutique bounded bulletin in hopes that association will accumulate their dollars in-state.
“We accept a low (sales) tax actuality anyway, but if you can save 10 percent, you know, that’s absolutely a bit,” backer Penny Fletcher said of Clarksville’s about 10 percent sales tax. “We’re advantageous that we don’t accept to pay 10 percent, but it would be acceptable to accept a tax-free weekend.”
“What we can do actuality in Christian County to move this to the accompaniment akin is to see if Kentucky can accept a tax-free weekend aloof like Tennessee,” Fletcher said. “We appetite bodies saying, ‘I appetite my money to break actuality because that will account me.’”
“It’s addition abode area we accept an befalling to yze ourselves from bound counties,” he said. “A lot of association from Hopkinsville go to added counties to absorb money. It would be nice if they could absorb that money in Hoptown, or Bowling Green or about in Kentucky locally.”
Reach Margarita Cambest at 270-887-3231 or [email protected]
Summary of States with a Sales Tax Holiday
1980 2 (MI, OH)
1997 1 (NY)
1998 2 (FL, NY)
1999 3 (FL, NY, TX)
2000 7 (CT, FL, IA, NY, PA, SC, TX)
2001 7 DC (CT, DC, FL, IA, MD, PA, SC, TX)
2002 8 DC (CT, DC, GA, IA, NC, PA, SC, TX, WV)
2003 9 (CT, GA, IA, NY, NC, SC, TX, VT, WV)
2004 12 DC (CT, DC, FL, GA, IA, MA, MO, NY, NC, SC, TX, VT, WV)
2005 12 DC (CT, DC, FL, GA, IA, LA, MA, MO, NM, NY, NC, SC, TX)
2006 15 DC (AL, CT, DC, FL, GA, IA, MD, MA, MO, NM, NY, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA)
2007 15 DC (AL, CT, DC, FL, GA, IA, LA, MA, MO, NM, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA)
2008 16 DC (AL, CT, DC, GA, IA, LA, MA, MO, NM, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VT, VA, WV)
2009 16 (AL, CT, GA, IA, LA, MS, MO, NM, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VT, VA, WV)
2010 19 (AL, CT, FL, IL, IA, LA, MD, MA, MS, MO, NM, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VT, VA, WV)
2011 17 (AL, AR, CT, FL, IA, LA, MD, MA, MS, MO, NM, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA)
2012 18 (AL, AR, CT, FL, IA, GA, LA, MA, MD, MS, MO, NM, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA)
2013 17 (AL, AR, CT, FL, IA, GA, LA, MD, MS, MO, NM, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA)
2014 16 (AL, AR, CT, FL, IA, GA, LA, MD, MS, MO, NM, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA)
Source: Tax Foundation
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