The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

August 5, 2013

Our View: Missed opportunity

Cities, counties should join annual sales tax holiday

— Generosity is in short supply this weekend. What a shame. This is supposed to be the weekend of the annual back-to-school sales tax holiday. It began Friday and ends tonight.

But most area cities and counties have opted out. Joplin is out. Carthage and Neosho are out. Carl Junction ... Mount Vernon ... Granby ... Noel ... all out.

So it goes for sales taxes collected by Jasper and Newton counties, as well as Barry and Lawrence.

Among the few cities that participated this weekend are Webb City, Lamar and Monett.

Among area counties that joined in are Barton and McDonald.

In other words, unless you shop in Lamar, you won’t get the full benefit of the sales tax holiday.

Elsewhere, you get part of it. The state is still going to waive its 4.225 percent assessed state sales tax on qualifying purchases of school supplies, clothing and computer equipment. But in most places, you can expect to pay either the city or county sales tax, usually both.

A lot of arguments can be made to support the tax holiday, including the fact that wages are stagnant and most families could use a break, even if comes just once a year.

But we think the best argument is one of simple fairness.

Many of these cities and counties routinely grant tax abatements or make tax-subsidized loans and grants available to entice businesses, or increasingly, just to keep the businesses they have. We think it only makes sense to send those tax-paying families a signal that they haven’t been forgotten.

Hopefully, city and county leaders will get on board in the future.

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