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1 Mark Robyn, Second Thoughts about Oklahoma's Second Amendment Tax Holiday Proposal 1 (2010)

handle is hein.taxfoundation/ffcafxz0001 and id is 1 raw text is: FOUNDATION
January 5, 2010
No. 205


Second Thoughts About Oklahoma's Second
Amendment Tax Holiday Proposal
Gun Sales Tax Holidays Are Poor Tax Policy and Suggest that Rights
Need Governmental Encouragement
By Mark Robyn
Oklahoma State Sen. John Sparks (D-Norman) has introduced a bill to create a tax-free weekend
for purchases of handguns, shotguns, and rifles, stating that the objective of the bill is to defend
our Second Amendment rights.1 The Second Amendment needs neither a sale nor a holiday to
commemorate it, and Oklahomans should not misuse tax policy for that purpose.
Sales Tax Holidays Are Poor Tax Policy
Legislators and taxpayers should be wary of sales tax holidays because they are based on poor tax
policy and distract policymakers and taxpayers from real, permanent, and economically beneficial
tax reform. Rather than stimulating new sales, sales tax holidays merely shift them in time. Sales
tax holidays also introduce unjustifiable government distortions into the economy without
providing any significant boost to the economy or relief to taxpayers.
The sales tax base should be as broad as possible, encompassing all end-user retail products. This
allows the sales tax rate to be as low as possible. A narrow sales tax base, one characterized by
numerous exemptions, benefits some consumers while leaving others out and leads to higher
sales tax rates on non-exempt products. If lawmakers want to cut sales taxes, they should do
so in a way that benefits all consumers regardless of what they buy or when they buy it. (See our
Aug. 2009 report, Sales Tax Holidays: Politically Expedient but Poor Tax Policy,
http :// wv, .taxfoundation.orgipublicationsishowi,25 052 .htril, for more.)
1 Associated Press, Norman lawmaker proposes tax-free 'Second Amendment Weekend', (Dec. 29, 2009).

Mark Robyn is a Staff Economist at the Tax Foundation

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