PRESS RELEASE
From the Office of State Senator Dan Patrick

For Immediate Release
February 28, 2007

Contact: Court Koenning
(512) 463-0107 / (713) 876-4444

SB 1010 WOULD ADD SALES TAX HOLIDAY FOR SUMMER ACTIVITIES AND HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS

Senator Patrick introduces bill during Capitol press conference with Senator Ellis

AUSTIN - Extolling the benefits of a sales tax holiday for summer activities and hurricane preparedness, Texas Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston) this afternoon introduced Senate Bill 1010. The bill which is co-authored by Senators Rodney Ellis (D-Houston), Kyle Janek (R-Houston), John Whitmire (D-Houston), Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville), Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa (D-Mission) and Kim Brimer (R-Fort Worth), would forgo sales tax collections, during the first weekend in June, on items commonly purchased during the summer months and in preparing personal property in advance of a hurricane.

"As a resident of the Texas gulf coast, I know all too well the needs we have when a major storm is bearing down on us," Senator Patrick said. "Too often stores are not properly equipped to handle the crush of people who are attempting to protect themselves days before a hurricane's landfall," Mr. Patrick added.

"I believe a sales tax holiday for hurricane preparedness will give consumers and retailers ample time to get organized without the threat of an looming storm," Senator Patrick offered. "I want all Texans, including those who do not live on the gulf coast, to benefit from this sales tax holiday. Texas is a destination for summer travel and activities and it is for those reasons why I wanted to include summer items into the sales tax holiday," Senator Patrick offered. "The family from Dallas who vacations on the beach in South Padre should get the same sales tax break as the family from Galveston who has to protect their property in advance of a storm," Senator Patrick remarked.

The Texas Association of Retailers offered their support of Senator Patrick's bill and are working with Senator, as well as the other Senate co-authors, to compile a more exhaustive list of items to be covered under the "Summer Sales Tax Holiday." Most of the hurricane preparedness items incorporated in the bill are recommended by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

It is a widely held belief that sales tax holidays do not have an adverse effect on overall sales tax collections. Consumers often spend money on taxable items at a greater rate than they would during non-sales tax holidays. In Texas, sales tax collections in August (the month of the current sales tax holiday) are second only to the holiday shopping months of November and December. It's no wonder why retailers often refer to the current sales tax holiday as "Christmas in August." Consumer research data proves that residents from neighboring states often travel to Texas to participate in the August sales tax holiday, and it is widely expected that this would hold true for the "Summer Sales Tax Holiday" as well.

The State of Florida has had a similar sales tax holiday, with great success, for a number of years. Florida's summer sales tax holiday runs for eleven days, while the Texas summer sales tax holiday would be the first weekend in June.

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