NBC: Sales Tax Holidays Complex, Controversial, But Popular With Shoppers

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Research by the nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy contends that increased sales during the tax holidays "have been shown to be primarily the result of consumers' shifting the timing of their planned purchases."

That organization estimates sales tax holidays will cost states $300 million in 2015.

"A two- to three-day sales tax holiday for selected items does nothing to reduce taxes for low- and moderate-income taxpayers during the other 362 days of the year," ITEP said in its report. "In the long run, sales tax holidays leave a regressive tax system unchanged, and the benefits of sales tax holidays for working families are minimal."

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