/Legislators consider expanding questionable sales tax holiday; both sides say it’s ‘the least’ they could do

Legislators consider expanding questionable sales tax holiday; both sides say it’s ‘the least’ they could do

This would prevent teachers, who often have to buy their own supplies due to a lack state funding, from having to pay the 7 per cent sales tax if they shop on the designated day. Senator Hob Bryan (D-Amory) said that it was the minimum, the most that could be done to help Mississippi teachers. He argued that more funding from the state for education, including a pay increase, would provide more support to teachers. Bryan continued by saying that if the state hadn’t given teachers multiple tax cuts, there would be more money for teacher rewards. The legislature passed approximately 50 tax cuts that decreased state general fund collection by more than $300million during the last term. In 2016, the first year in the current term, a tax relief totaling over $400 million over a period of ten years was passed. This is the largest tax cut in state history. Proponents of tax cuts, Gov. Phil Bryant, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, Speaker Philip Gunn would argue that tax cuts over a longer period of time will stimulate economic growth. It seems that the recent tax cuts have led to the slowdown in state revenue collection. This is despite the fact that they are on the rise for the current fiscal year. It is important to remember that tax collections are still not high based upon historical standards. Both Republicans and Democrats love the sales tax holidays, which are designated times when retail items are exempted from the 7. percent sales tax. In 2009, a Democrat-controlled House initiated the sales tax holiday for back-to school clothes. The Republican-controlled Senate then approved it. After Republicans took control of both chambers, tax cuts were passed. They included a sales tax holiday on hunting supplies (known as the 2nd Amendment sales tax holidays). The 2nd Amendment sales holiday removes the 7 percent sales taxes on guns, ammunition and other hunting supplies. The amount exempted from the 7 percent sales taxes is not limited. The sale tax holiday for school clothes limits the exemption from sales tax to items $100 and less. The holiday does not limit the price of high-powered rifles that are exempted from sales tax, but it does limit the purchase of fancy blue jeans. The exemption for hunting supplies is available during three days in September, while July’s back-to school clothing is only exempt for two days. It seems sensible to add school supplies to this holiday. The sales tax holidays appear to be contrary to the tax policy goals of the legislative leaders. Nicole Kaeding (an economist at the Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation) met with legislative leaders in 2016. She was very appreciative of the tax cuts that the state gave to corporations and personal income. She urged the state to continue to rely on the sales tax and use tax to generate revenue for state government, rather than taxes on income or personal income. Some tax policy experts consider it unfair or regressive to levy taxes upon the purchase of retail goods. The Tax Foundation believes that such taxes are the most effective in generating revenue for the state. She dismissed sales tax holidays as ineffective and unproductive for good tax policy. She stated that poor people with limited incomes cannot plan their purchases around sales taxes holidays. She explained to the legislators that while wealthy people might be able to plan their purchases around sales tax holidays, it does not encourage them to shop more. The Legislature has passed sales tax holidays, and may enact another one on school supplies. However, the largest state-imposed grocery sales tax is still imposed by the state.