State Senator Johnnie Crutchfield will be pushing for the creation of an Oklahoma sales tax holiday again this year, saying the proposal will save consumers money and boost the state economy at the same time. "I know it's been said about a lot of things, but this truly is a win-win proposition. If we can help families make ends meet and boost economic development all at once, I think we ought to give it a try. We know it works for Texas. Let's make it work for Oklahoma too," said the Ardmore legislator.
SB 816 by Sen. Crutchfield would authorize a three-day state sales tax holiday in Oklahoma, beginning the first Friday in August and ending the following Sunday. Most clothing and footwear purchases of up to $100 would be exempt from the state sales tax. Designed to give families a break on back-to-school purchases, the sales tax holiday has also proven to be a boost for business in states such as Texas. Sen. Crutchfield noted that each year the Lone Star State's tax holiday attracts thousands of Oklahoma consumers who are looking for a
price break on their school shopping.
"Each year in August, you see the lines of cars heading south to Texas stores as our people take their money and spend it south of the Red River. It's a real drain on our economy, especially for the merchants in southern Oklahoma. They get pounded each year, not because they don't offer quality goods, but because they're at a tax disadvantage," said Sen. Crutchfield.
"I just think it makes good common sense to level the playing field and stop the flow of money south by authorizing a sales tax holiday here."
Sen. Crutchfield filed similar legislation last year, but efforts to pass the tax holiday bill came up short. The Ardmore lawmaker believes he may have more success this year, saying the legislation could provide a much-need spark to the Oklahoma economy.
"I know revenue is going to be tighter than usual this year, but I think in the long run, the tax holiday is going to be a money generator for Oklahoma. Increased retail spending can give our state the jump start it needs to get the economy moving again," said Sen. Crutchfield.
SB 816 will be considered by the Oklahoma Legislature when it convenes its 2002 session on February 4th.