GREEN BAY - Parents could see some financial relief when buying school supplies next fall. That's if a new piece of legislation passes the Assembly and Senate.
Parents may have a new holiday to look forward in August, a two-day sales tax holiday.
"As a father of two, school I'm finding out, as with everything, prices are just increasing and this just gives needy families a tax relief," explained Republican Representative Chad Weininger of Green Bay during a phone interview.
State Rep. Weininger is co-sponsoring the legislation. Under the bill, parents can buy certain items, for a two-day period in August, sales tax free. Those items include:
- Items of clothing with a sale price of no more than $75
- Computers with a sale price of no more than $2,000.
- School computer supplies with a sale price of no more than $250.
- School instructional materials with a sale price of no more than $300.
- School supplies with a sale price of no more than $75.
According to the National Retail Federation, in 2012, the average family spent nearly $690 on back-to-school supplies. So no five percent sales tax would save around $34.
"I think it would be nice actually, with everything going up, all the prices, everything cost more money, and that little extra money does help," explained parent Jaime Peterson.
Area parents say they're on board. However, area democrats aren't as eager.
"The question is, is this the best use of the money that is going to cost the state?" said State Rep. Gordon Hintz, D-Green Bay.
The Department of Revenue is still working out the fiscal impact, and that's a concern.
"I can understand why this is popular, but we need to be smart with everything and try to find ways to spur the economy and help save people money," Hintz said. "It's just I'm not sure that sales tax holidays are the best way to do it."
"In the bill, we have a provision in that if we do go through a rough time, which we did four years ago, then the Dept. of Revenue would have the ability to forego the sales tax holiday," Weininger explained.
The bill is expected to reach the Assembly floor within a few weeks.
Weininger says this bill would apply to both large and small retailers across the state.
Eighteen other state have similar legislation is in place.
The proposal also includes a sales tax holiday weekend in early November for the sales of Energy Star products.
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