The State of Connecticut Sales Tax Holiday Week starts this Sunday, August 15, and continues through Saturday August 21. During the Sales Tax Holiday Week, most individual items of clothing and footwear priced under $300 are exempt from Connecticut’s sales and use tax.
Ok, grab your wallets, checkbooks, and charge cards and lets all go shopping. The sales tax is off some clothing items. While that is a help for back to school shopping and some folks looking to expand their wardrobe it invites commentary and discussion.
By the mere fact that the Sales Tax Holiday Week exists it is a testament to the burdensome nature of such a tax during the rest of the year. Once used as a promotion gimmick to pump some life into a slow economic time it has become an expected annual event. Many retailers are now running additional promotions to coincide with the event and it has become something never intended, an annual event.
While it was initially widely accepted and supported by business we should now consider the consequences of having an anticipated annual event. Regular everyday shopping rotates inventory, provides jobs, and creates a less cyclical revenue stream for the State and the business community.
Perhaps it would be a better idea to look at the concept of sales tax and adjust this burdensome tax to provide tax relief across a wider range of products. Why not look at reducing the size of government and reducing the burden of sales tax all year. Think of the competitive advantage Connecticut could have with surrounding states. Bus loads of shoppers crossing our borders and giving Connecticut additional revenue now going to other states.
One week of sales tax relief is more like a handout, when contrasted with sales tax reform which would be a hand up for every family in Connecticut. This Sales Tax Holiday Week is a gimmick of politics wrapped up to look like a gift from your legislators.
Gifts and false promises from politicians are not the basis for good public policy. Be careful what you wish for and beware of what they send your way, this is an election year.