Dylan joined ITEP in 2016. Prior to joining ITEP, he worked as a Fiscal Policy Analyst at OpenSky Policy Institute, which provides research, analysis, education, and leadership around budget and tax policy debates in the state of Nebraska. Before OpenSky, he worked as a Research Associate at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C., focusing on a range of state fiscal policy issues. He holds a BA in Political Science from Arizona State University and an MA in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University. He lives and works in lovely Lincoln, Neb.dylan at itep.org
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Sales tax holidays are wasteful, misguided policies that will drain more than $300 million of funding away from shared priorities like schools, roads, and health care this year in 16 states, while delivering little benefit to the families that could most use the help. Our newly updated brief reviews recent developments in sales tax holiday policy—including how online sales taxes are changing the picture—and explains why they are a misguided policy option for states. And the story below “follows the money” to show how sales tax holidays are a bad deal for families and communities alike.
Lawmakers in many states have enacted “sales tax holidays” (16 states will hold them in 2019), to provide a temporary break on paying the tax on purchases of clothing, school supplies, and other items. While these holidays may seem to lessen the regressive impacts of the sales tax, their benefits are minimal. This policy brief looks at sales tax holidays as a tax reduction device.