‘Tax-Free’ Weekend Isn’t Tax-Free And Isn’t Worth It
The so-called "Tax-Free" Weekend or "Sales Tax Holiday" is coming up this Friday and Saturday, but it doesn't really mean much here in Louisiana. To begin with, it's only a 2% break on the state sales tax, which is normally 5%. Local sales tax still applies, which means you'll still be paying 3% of the state sales tax, plus whatever your local taxes are during "Tax-Free" Weekend.
In Calcasieu Parish, for example, the local sales tax is 5.75%, which means area residents will be paying a total 8.75% in sales tax on "Tax-Free" Weekend, instead of the usual 10.75%.
WHAT A BARGAIN!
That works out to saving two whole cents on every dollar you spend. Buy $100 worth of school supplies during "Tax-Free" Weekend, and you'll pay $108.75. Buy the same amount on any other weekend, and you'll only pay two dollars more.
You need to spend $50 before you save your first dollar, and $500 before you'll manage to save ten lousy bucks during "Tax-Free" Weekend. Is it worth it?
Is it worth dealing with the increased traffic of everyone trying to cash in on the meager savings?
Is it worth fighting over parking spaces in overcrowded lots filled with people trying to save a few pennies?
Is it worth standing in long lines with a cart filled with items, when you're only going to end up saving a couple of bucks at the register?
Times are hard and money is tight all around, so the idea of saving any amount of money has its appeal, but knocking just 2% off one of the highest sales taxes in the country isn't really helping us very much.
What people in Louisiana want is a real Tax-Free Weekend, where we don't pay any state or local sales tax. At all. Because that's what tax-free means.
And it's what we need. The "Tax-Free" Weekend in August is designed to help families buy school supplies and new clothes for their kids to start the year with, but shaving two pennies off every dollar isn't exactly going to help anyone keep the lights on this month.
If "Tax-Free" Weekend really was tax-free, then $100 worth of school supplies would only cost $100 - not $108.75 or $110.75. Just a cool, clean, even $100. That kind of savings really does add up, and could go a long way toward helping a lot of families.
But does anyone truly believe that our government really cares about the people who live and work and struggle to make ends meet in our great state?
If you do, then I've got a bridge on I-10 to sell you...