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franklin county times

Tax holiday an example of government getting it right

By Staff
Whenever you are tempted to say that government never does anything right, we urge you to think back to Tuesday, April 25, 2006.
Yesterday, Gov. Bob Riley signed into law legislation that creates Alabama's first statewide sales tax holiday for back-to-school shoppers. Riley, in cooperation with the state legislature who passed the bill, did a good thing.
Almost all of us have donated money to help needy students purchase back-to-school supplies. With the supply list, and thus the cost, getting larger every year, poorer families really struggle to make sure that their children go to school with needed supplies.
You think it's easy to have your child ask you why you can't afford the bigger, prettier backpack, or to have the child singled out as the only one who didn't pay a supply fee or something similar? No, it's not.
And this law finally targets the people who need it the most. Alabama's tax laws are antiquated and regressive in the extreme, and meaningful tax reform is direly needed. But failing that, measures such as this tax holiday are a good first step.
Most of the time, tax cuts are merely window dressing that allows the wealthy to keep more of their money. This time, a tax cut goes directly to us, the middle class and below.
The sales tax holiday will fall on the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday in August each year. It is expected to save Alabama consumers $3.3 million annually.
Sen. Zep Little and Rep. Mac Gipson sponsored the bill. They should be applauded for taking this initiative.
The three-day sales tax holiday in 2006 will fall on August 4-6. It applies to clothing costs up to $100 per item; computers, software and computer supplies costing up to $750 per item; school supplies and textbooks up to $50 per item; and other books up to $30 each.
The new law gives cities and counties the option to join the state in the sales tax holiday by waiving their local sales taxes during the same weekend in August. Twelve other states, including Georgia and Florida, have passed similar sales tax holidays on back-to-school purchases.
Congrats, guys. This time, you really got something right.

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