Walker's sales tax holiday appears to be doomed

MADISON, Wis. (AP) _ Gov. Scott Walker's proposed sales tax holiday for back-to-school shopping appears to be doomed.

Republican members of the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee said Friday they want to divert the $17 million cost of the sales tax holiday and instead use it to reduce or potentially eliminate the personal property tax.

The sales tax holiday would apply to certain purchases targeted to families, including clothing, computers and school supplies. The personal property tax is primarily paid for by businesses.

There are also concerns among Republican lawmakers about the effectiveness of the sales tax holiday. Joint Finance Committee member Sen. Luther Olsen says he has a feeling the sales tax holiday won't happen. And fellow committee member Sen. Leah Vukmir says she hasn't seen support for it.

According to an analysis of the proposal by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Walker's proposal could return as little as $5 to the average Wisconsin shopper. That assumes that all eligible households in the state take advantage of the tax break. If only homes with children take part, the average tax cut would be $17.

Tax cut holidays are in effect in 17 other states. Supporters say they help generate sales and help businesses, but opponents say they simply change the timing of purchases that would have otherwise happened.

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