Pa. representative wants to get sales tax holiday for school items



STAFF/WIRE REPORTS
HARRISBURG -- A Pennsylvania state representative said Tuesday he plans to introduce legislation that would decree a two-week "back-to-school" sales tax break on small-ticket items, such as calculators and backpacks.
"This tax break would be a significant relief for families, while giving retailers a much-needed boost during the shopping lull that precedes the holidays," said Rep. Michael McGeehan, D-Philadelphia.
Sales taxes on the items would be dropped during the third week of August and January under the legislation, which hasn't been introduced yet.
A draft of the legislation would exempt school supplies, books, or backpacks for "nonbusiness" purposes. The school supplies would apply to everything from erasers to computer disks.
The legislation applies only to items that cost $100 or less, and excludes furniture, stereo equipment, VCRs, and DVD players.
McGeehan does not have an estimate of how much the tax break would cost the state, but said in a memo to other House members that generally "sales tax holidays" attract so many more shoppers that state revenues are not affected.
The state has allowed tax holidays on computers in the past.
A Youngstown, Ohio, school board member recently proposed a similar tax break for residents of that state.
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