Letter: Incentive would boost economy



Retailers across our state thank state Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, and state Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, for sponsoring bills that would create a back-to-school sales tax holiday later this year. Unlike 18 other states, Washington state has never offered shoppers such a break.

We believe an August tax holiday weekend would increase local and state government revenues and create job opportunities from retailers needing to increase their staffs to process the extra business. It would apply to clothing priced up to $100 and school supplies up to $10.

The incentive would help keep Washington shoppers home who typically shop in Oregon, where there is no sales tax.

The idea has proved popular in other states. Retailers typically also reduce prices on items that don’t qualify as back-to-school merchandise. These breaks coupled together result in crowds second only to year-end holiday crowds and generate overall increases in sales tax revenues to states.

Retailers believe these bills will inspire consumer confidence, boost government revenues and create job opportunities for those hard at work to recover from the recession.

As president/CEO of Washington Retail Association, I hope the Legislature will agree with Moeller and Rivers and pass their bills soon.

Jan Teague