Cape Girardeau’s Wise Choice
Combest links to an encouraging article about the August sales tax holiday. I find it encouraging, because I don’t like the holiday, and the article reports that Cape Girardeau won’t participate this year.
Nobody likes paying sales taxes, so what’s the big deal if the tax is lifted for a couple days each year? The problem is, the tax isn’t really lifted. Directing consumers to out-of-the-way places or less convenient shopping dates is itself a kind of tax. The state doesn’t receive any sales tax revenue during the holiday, but consumers lose money and time. They pay a little more to buy gas and drive to a participating municipality. They stand in line a little longer in a store that’s extra-busy thanks to the arbitrary holiday.
I suppose you could say that the holiday is good because, although it’s wasteful, the money that people lose doesn’t go to the state. That’s a little less tax revenue for the state to use in expanding its activities. But, by that reasoning, you might as well throw your money out the window rather than give it to the government. A tax holiday amounts to the same thing.