By Lucinda Rowlands, Zip2Tax
The House Ways and Means Committee on April 25, 2012 approved a bill eliminating 22 exemptions, after putting about a dozen back on the exemption list. The bill initially eliminated exemptions worth more than $250 million. The amended bill reduces that to roughly $15 million.
Items put back on the exemption list included:
- lottery tickets
- gold and silver
- sweetgrass baskets
- motion picture companies’ supplies
- packaging used by manufacturers
- electricity used by television broadcasters
- equipment bought by laundries and dry cleaners
- and the penny-on-the-dollar sales tax discount for residents 85 and older.
The committee also reinstated two sales-tax-free weekends: gun sales on Thanksgiving weekend, and back-to-school supplies the first weekend of August.
Representatives said the bill was basically pushed through committee as quickly as possible because the deadline for moving bills from one chamber to the other was rapidly approaching.
Rep. Tommy Stringer said one vital part of the bill remains intact, the part requiring sales tax exemptions to be re-evaluated every five years helps ensure outdated exemptions don’t stay on the books.
House Minority Leader Harry Ott said the items left in the bill are there because no one spoke up to keep those exemptions.