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Retailer group urges state sales tax holiday PDF Print E-mail

Dear Editor:

Doesn’t the state of Wisconsin need an economic boost in these tough times to provide welcome tax relief for working families and stimulus to the state’s economy? How can this happen? State legislators are working right now on legislation to do just that by way of a sales tax holiday the first weekend of August on back-to-school items.

Assembly Bill (AB) 108 was introduced by Rep. Chad Weininger (R-Green Bay) and Sen. Rick Gudex (R-Fond du Lac) and would create tax-free shopping for back-to-school items including clothing, computers and school supplies in addition to a tax-free weekend in November for Energy Star-rated appliances. Nineteen states currently provide sales tax holidays.

Not only would consumers get a tax cut, studies show that revenue collections to the state are not negatively impacted due to increased economic activity surrounding tax holidays. States with sales tax holidays have experienced overall higher sales tax collections, because in their experience, the sales of taxable items grew as much as 50% while nontaxable items grew by 35% during the tax holidays.

In addition, sales tax holidays result in increased workforce and labor income as well as an increase in overall tax collections. An independent study of Florida’s 2011 sales tax holiday found that the holiday created $115 million in new economic activity, and that sales tax revenue in Florida actually increased by $7 million as a result of the increased economic activity.

A Wisconsin sales tax holiday would encourage customers from surrounding states to come to Wisconsin to not only shop but also spend their money at our restaurants, hotels and tourism attractions.

Illinois residents who come to the state would not be charged 9% on back-to-school items purchased in Wisconsin that weekend like they would have been in their home state. And Wisconsin residents would have incentive to shop locally instead of heading across the border to Minnesota — or some Internet sites — where clothing is tax free year-round.

It is easy to see why so many other states have been passing sales tax holiday laws; they have resulted in needed tax relief for working families, more jobs and stimulus to the economy and an overall increase in state tax collections. This is not a gimmick as some critics have argued. It is about time Wisconsin’s working families get some much-needed tax relief.

Please contact your legislators and urge them to pass AB 108 to create a sales tax holiday for back-to-school items.


Scott Stenger

Alliance of Wisconsin


Tuesday, February 11, 2014 2:18 PM


+2 #1 2014-02-12 18:36
Good idea, I suppose, but try and get your facts straight Scott. The base sales tax rate in Illinois is 6.25%. Individual counties and cities may add an additional tax not to exceed 10%. Granted, Chicago and most of Cook County are around 9% but most of the state is below 7%. It's your job to get people to spend money in Wisconsin but be honest about it

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