Tax break for back-to-school shoppers could be suspended to help budget woes

SMU Economics Professor Mike Davis talks about proposed legislation that would suspend the back-to-school weekend tax break.

By Marthe Stinton

Once again, the state is looking to save every penny it can to help alleviate its $27 billion shortfall.

This time, the legislature is taking an ax to the three-day sales tax weekend, a holiday that usually brings in big bucks and big crowds for stores.

House Bill 3790 would suspend the sales tax weekend for the next two years, in an effort to boost coffers.

Michael Davis, an economics and finance professor with Southern Methodist University's Cox School of Business, said should the state suspend tax free weekend, consumers would see no big changes in their pocket books.

"Everything would stay the same and lot less silly than it is right now," he said. "It is the most popular thing you can imagine and the dumbest. It's just bizarre when you think about what it does. It gives a tax break to people who buy on three special days and there's nothing special about the days or the people who shop on them. It's nonsense."

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