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As I See It

Not all back to school items exempt from sales tax are back to school items



Leave it to the politicians to make things unnecessarily complicated. The Wisconsin Legislature in the last session passed a law designed to help consumers with their back to school shopping. The law creates a sales tax holiday that will exempt a number of typical back to school purchases from the state sales tax. We can assume that means things like notebooks, pencils, computers and school clothing. And those things are on the list of items that will be exempt from the sales tax from August 1 through August 5. But that is hardly the entire list. There are 77 items on the list of items you can buy without having to be taxed on it. Shoes are on the list, which kids typically get before the new school year begins. But so are slippers, which probably aren’t allowed footwear for school. Neckties are on the list, but I haven’t seen many school kids sporting a tie. Pantyhose also are exempt from sales tax, but I haven’t seen many kids wearing hosiery. Wedding dresses also make the list, although not many kids still in school are planning a trip down the aisle. Diapers are also exempt, but I think even our youngest students are potty-trained. Also exempt are costumes, but I doubt school administrators would be happy to see kids show up wearing a mask. It isn’t the end of the world that more items than you may think will be exempt from the sales tax, but it seems our lawmakers thought about this a little harder than they had to.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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