Sales tax cut would help in a small way

Friday, March 7, 2008

Back-to-school shopping is always a trying time, but with crude oil above $100 a barrel, we'll all have leftover summer vacation gasoline bills to pay before we can even think about buying new clothes for the kids.

The Legislature is trying to help. A committee has advanced LB708 from Sen. Rich Pahls of Omaha that would allow stores to go sales-tax free for three days during the first week of August.

Stores that participate could choose which items to exempt from the sales tax, and, while customers wouldn't have to pay sales tax, the businesses would still have to pay the state.

Another bill, LB762, which would not have forced businesses to pay the state, was killed in the committee.

It's more of an issue in eastern Nebraska than out west, because Iowa and Missouri are among 15 states and the District of Columbia which do have tax holidays.

We hope the tax holiday bill passes, since it will be good for young parents and the stores they support.

We don't expect much, however, because stores will still have to pay the sales tax, and many as a result won't participate.

Yes, cutting sales tax may, in a small way, boost spending and give the economy a boost.

Not nearly as much, however, as cutting taxes permanently would do.

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