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Wisconsin should resume sales tax holiday




Welcome to August. The beginning of the end of summer. Time to think back to school for many. But there will be no early Christmas present for back to school shoppers in Wisconsin this year. In 2018, Governor Walker instituted a sales tax holiday, providing shoppers a bit of a break on their back to school shopping. Sales taxes were waived for five days last August on a variety of back to school items, including clothing, computers and school supplies. But Governor Tony Evers said Wisconsin will not offer that tax break this year. He calls the effort a political stunt and argues there is no evidence that it increased sales. He says people are going to buy school supplies no matter whether they are taxed or not. He may be right, but it feels like we are getting cheated here. My days of back to school shopping are long past, and I don’t recall if I took advantage of last year’s tax break. But the state spends money on a lot dumber things. Even if it didn’t lead to increased sales, at least who bought school supplies were forgiven their tax obligations for those purchases. Not having to pay taxes on even just a few items, even for a few days, seemed like the state was doing something nice. Like when you buy a car and the dealer knocks a few hundred bucks off the price. Or when you buy an appliance and they offer free delivery. It doesn’t matter much in the end, but it seems like a nice gesture. Wisconsin should resurrect the sales tax holiday, so that once again Christmas comes early.

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