OFFICE OF SENATOR JAY PAUL GUMM
Atoka, Bryan, Coal, Johnston & Marshall Counties
For Immediate Release: July 29, 2008
Gumm: Sales Tax Holiday Boosts Oklahoma
Families and Economy
Oklahoma's second "Back-to-School" sales tax holiday
will be this weekend, and the law's chief proponent says the holiday
will boost the economy and benefit families struggling with high
"Last year, the sales tax holiday performed exactly as many
of us predicted: it boosted retail sales by a whopping $100 million
for the month of August," said Senator Jay
Paul Gumm, who fought for years to pass the measure. "The
holiday will do the same this year."
Under the law, state, county and municipal sales tax is removed
on sales of each item of clothing and footwear costing less than
$100. The tax-free event begins 12:01 a.m. Friday and runs through
"Oklahoma families got to keep more of their money, spending
it on items they need rather than coughing it up in the form of
a regressive sales tax," Gumm said. "The sales tax holiday
is good policy that made good sense for families and retail businesses."
A Democrat from Durant, Gumm was an author of the bill in 2007
that created the "Back-to-School" sales tax holiday. He
helped shepherd the measure through the Legislature, taking on opponents
who argued that it would reduce state and local revenues.
Last year, state officials estimate that shoppers saved $6.4 million
in state sales tax along with millions more in county and local
sales taxes. Despite the tax cut, state sales tax revenues jumped
by $4.6 million last August. The revenue increase, Gumm said, was
a direct result of the tax holiday.
One newspaper called it "a great idea for Oklahoma families,
and one of the most taxpayer-friendly moves the State Legislature
has made in decades." According to news reports from across
the state, retail groups and chambers of commerce put together promotions
to make the most of the three-day shopping event.
The Oklahoma law was based on the Texas "Back-to-School"
sales tax holiday, and was originally planned to be the same weekend
and on the same items as the Texas event. However, two weeks after
the Oklahoma law was signed, the Texas Legislature moved the Texas
event to later in the month, meaning Oklahoma has the first weekend
in August all to itself.
Last year, many retailers reported Texans crossed into Oklahoma
to make back-to-school purchases, giving Oklahoma an even greater
boost. Also, in northern parts of Oklahoma, retailers reported many
Kansas residents crossed the state line to take advantage of the
"The sales tax holiday performed exactly as many of us predicted,"
Gumm said. "We kept Oklahomans shopping in our hometowns, attracted
shoppers from other states, kept our economic strength at home,
and boosted our economy. That's a 'win-win' that continues to be
in the best interest of our state's future."
For a complete list of tax-free items and answers to Frequently
Asked Questions about the three-day event, Gumm said Oklahomans
can check the Oklahoma Tax Commission's website at: http://www.tax.ok.gov/stholiday.html.
For more information
Sen. Gumm's Office: (405) 521-5586