Congress Considers Sales Tax Moratorium

There may be a sale coming to a store near you, courtesy of the U.S. Congress.

Legislators are considering a bill introduced by a South Carolina congressman, to put a moratorium on all state sales taxes for 10 days, from Nov. 23rd to Dec. 2nd. The intent of the bill is to give the economy a shot in the arm, at a time when it desperately needs it.

But will the elimination of sales taxes for 10 days get consumers to spend? We asked a few. Dick O'Byrne of Long Beach thinks its a great idea.

"I think it would be a marvelous thing to do to boost the economy, I think everyone would benefit from it."

Mike Morris and his wife Elizabeth are visiting family here on the Coast from Atlanta. They also think dropping the sales tax, even if only for a few days, can only help.

"I think if people don't have to go out and pay the sales tax, it would give them the incentive to go out and buy something, if it helps the economy, it seems like the patriotic American thing to do," Morris said.

If the plan works as anticipated, businesses would also benefit, because it would get people in their stores, at a very important time of year. Mary Foshee owns a piano store in Mobile, Ala., where the sales tax is nine percent, which is even higher than Mississippi's seven percent.

Foshee says, " I think its great because people will buy large ticket items, and spend more at the time of season than typically would because of the savings."

Since this is federal legislation, states would not be required to eliminate the sales tax, that would be up to each legislature and governor. Gov. Musgrove gives the proposal a cautious endorsement. According to the governor, "My recommendation is not for people to go out and spend money if they don't have it, and don't need products. That is not the way to help the economy, but if they have plans to shop and be part of the economy, we encourage people to do so."

Under the legislation, the federal government would reimburse the states for any lost sales tax revenues during the ten day moratorium.