For Immediate Release: May 7, 2007
Senator Jay Paul Gumm
Gumm Praises Inclusion of “Back-to-School”
Sales Tax Holiday in Overall Tax Cut Agreement
Democratic Author Urges Henry to Sign SB 861
The Democratic author of the “Back-to-School”
sales tax holiday praised passage of this year’s tax cut
agreement legislation that passed off the Senate floor today.
Senator Jay Paul Gumm said this year’s agreement includes
four specific tax cuts—none of which are more important
than a proposal he authored for a “Back-to-School”
sales tax holiday.
“Because a “Back-to-School” sales tax holiday
was included in this year’s agreement, Oklahoma families
will no longer have to travel to Texas to save money on school
clothes,” Gumm said. “We all will be able to keep
our back-to-school dollars in our hometowns with our hometown
Gumm said the Oklahoma version would be for the same days and
the same items as the Texas holiday, but more importantly the
bill will hold counties and cities harmless by reimbursing them
for any revenue lost as a result of the tax free shopping weekend.
He also pointed to revenue figures from both Texas and Missouri
as evidence that a sales tax holiday actually boost local economies
during the tax free shopping weekend, so he is confident the
financial impact will be minimal.
“The fact is in both Texas and Missouri, local revenues
held steady or increased because of greater retail activity
during the sales tax holidays,” he said. “By keeping
thousands of Oklahomans at home, we stand an even better chance
to grow Oklahoma’s retail economy, which would primarily
benefit cities that depend on sales taxes.”
Gumm said this tax cut is targeted directly to middle class
families and small business owners throughout main streets across
“A ‘Back-to-School’ sales tax holiday puts
real money back into the pockets of middle class families who
already contribute so much to Oklahoma’s growing economy,”
Gumm said. “It is also critical to put Oklahoma’s
retailers – many of them small businesses – on equal
footing with retailers across the borders in Texas and Missouri.”
Gumm said when Oklahomans go to Texas, they complete their shopping
lists, have a meal, see a movie or even spend the night, draining
the Oklahoma economy of even more dollars.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out
that money spent by Oklahomans in Texas never ends up in Oklahoma
municipal coffers or in local Oklahoma economies,” he
said. “Keeping shoppers at home that weekend will mean
more money for cities that depend on sales tax revenue.”
Gumm, whose district borders Texas, explained a “back-to-school”
sales tax holiday is critical for Oklahoma retailers who find
themselves at a competitive disadvantage during Texas sales
tax holiday weekend.
“Some Oklahoma retailers have taken to absorbing the cost
of sales taxes in an effort to compete,” the Senator said.
“That simply is not right for our small business community—a
community that serves as the backbone of the Oklahoma economy.”
Gumm, who served as the executive director of the Durant Area
Chamber of Commerce before coming to the State Senate said Oklahoma
retailers, many of which are small businesses, should not have
to bear that burden.
“We owe our retail community better, as well as the thousands
of Oklahomans who might not be able to afford a trip to Texas,”
he said. “The Oklahomans who need this tax break the most
are left behind if they can’t afford to make the trip
Gumm said a tax cut like the back-to-school sales tax holiday
is not only a winner for working and middle class families,
but also for small business owners, city governments and the
“I am tired of seeing Texas benefit at the expense of
Oklahoma families and retailers in my district,” Gumm
said. “This bill will allow Oklahoma families and retailers
to benefit from a tax policy that encourages our citizens to
spend their hard-earned money at home.”
Gumm also commented on the bi-partisan collaboration to push
for the inclusion of the “Back-to-School” sales
tax holiday in the overall tax cut agreement—noting the
importance of working together to move Oklahoma forward.
“Reaching across party lines is crucial in an evenly divided
senate,” Gumm said. “When you work together, regardless
of party affiliation to move legislation through the process
all Oklahomans win.”
In conclusion, Gumm pointed out that the "Back-to-School"
sales tax holiday was part of Governor Henry's legislative agenda
in 2006. "I certainly encourage the governor to sign this
into law," he said. "This is a chance for us all to
stand up for working families across the state."
For more information contact:
Senator Gumm's Office: (405) 521-5586