Many parents know the feeling of having to stretch their budget just to buy new school clothes and shoes for their children at the beginning of each school year.
One state senator is encouraging Oklahomans to not give up hope. Senator Jeff Rabon has introduced a bill for the past three years to give Oklahomans a tax break for their children's back-to-school items. The Hugo Democrat states the bill is still alive and will be up for reconsideration next session.
The bill provides tax relief for clothing and shoes up to $100 beginning at 12:01 AM on the first Friday in August, through the weekend until midnight on Sunday. The tax break only includes school-related necessities; jewelry, handbags, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, and watches, as well as clothing or footwear designed primarily for athletic activity or protective use would continue to be taxed at the regular rate.
"A tax holiday would greatly benefit Oklahoma retailers. Instead of Oklahomans flocking to Texas, citizens of our border states would take the drive to take advantage of Oklahoma's weekend of tax-free shopping. It not only saves shoppers money, but also helps fuel local business sales," said Senator Rabon.
Texas already has a similar tax-free holiday, which has proven to be very successful.
"I have seen firsthand constituents who drive into Texas for the holiday, spending their money there rather than Oklahoma," said Senator Rabon. "I have been working for several years to provide a tax-free holiday for Oklahomans and will continue to push this item during the next legislative session."
The success of the Texas tax holiday was astounding. Several Oklahomans took the time to travel to the Lone Star State to purchase clothing just in time for the new school year.
"The success of the local Oklahoma City retailers who did their own tax holiday should be evidence enough that this is good for Oklahoma," stated Senator Rabon. "A tax holiday would allow citizens to stretch their dollars farther and protect merchants in border counties who have lost business to Texas."
The senator also added, "Oklahomans should not give up hope on the legislature approving a tax holiday for 2002. I will continue to lobby my fellow legislators and the Governor to convince them this is the right thing for Oklahoma businesses."