State committee pushes forward plan for tax-free holiday

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DENVER — After hours of debate, the Colorado House Finance Committee is passing through a plan that would create a yearly sales tax holiday on hundreds of back to school items.

The plan, which now heads to an appropriations committee, would be similar to tax-free holidays found in other states including South Carolina and Florida.

Under the proposal, items like iPads, pencils, binders, and smart phones exempt from the state’s 2.9 percent sales tax for the first weekend in August.

“There’s just so much stuff that when it comes to kids, it hurts your brain.” said one Aurora parent when asked to describe the back to school shopping process.

State lawmakers estimate it could cost Colorado around $4 million per year. However some proponents of the bill believe other spending could offset any revenue lost.

“When people go to a store, they’ll spend money on other items, those items are then going to help stimulate the economy.” said State Rep. Joe Miklosi of Denver.

During Wednesday’s finance committee meeting, some discussed concerns that any changes to the tax system could cost small businesses hundreds of dollars in computer reprogramming.

Miklosi believes lawmakers would allow businesses several months to prepare for any changes, hoping to eliminate concerns for business owners.