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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

My Sales Tax Holiday Bill May Become Permanent

Back in 2007, I spent some time during August in Massachusetts with my extended family. They were obsessed with something called a Sales Tax Holiday -- a concept with which I was unfamiliar. They geared their big annual purchases around this time when they didn't have to pay sales tax.

As a freshman legislator, I was amazed at the kind of Black Friday frenzy this holiday created -- a needed boost to an economy that was beginning to fall into the Great Recession. And it also was geared toward giving working families a little help so they could buy back-to-school items for their kids.

When I returned home, I introduced the state's first Sales Tax Holiday bill. I figured if the People's Republic of Taxachusetts could do one, so could Ohio.

Not surprisingly, since I was a member of the minority party, the bill went nowhere.

Well, the bill finally passed when a member of the majority party carried it. Now the legislature wants to make the holiday permanent. Not surprisingly, Republicans can't line up fast enough to support this idea.

While I'm glad that the holiday may become permanent, I think this speaks to the problem politics create in policy development. This bill is just as good today as it was in 2007. Only it could have helped to spur some economic growth during our recovery from the Recession if the legislature had passed it earlier. But it didn't. Because the wrong party introduced it.

This stuff drives me crazy and is a big reason why so many people have become disenchanted with American politics.

But I am glad that families may receive a little help when they buy back-to-school items in August.

See, I'm still for the bill.

Even if someone else pushes for it.

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