News Releases

"Today, Senator Snowe and I, along with other colleagues, are announcing the Sales Tax Holiday Act of 2001.

Our economy needs a shot in the arm. The GDP is declining, consumer confidence is at a seven-year low, and consumer spending has slowed to its lowest level in 8 years. But consumer spending is just what we need to get our economy going again.

In fact, two-thirds of our economy depends on consumer spending. So today we're proposing an innovative way to get Americans back into stores, and to get our economy back on its feet.

We're proposing a national sales tax holiday -- a ten day period -- where every American can go out and shop without having to pay state sales tax. The national sales tax holiday will save you money on everything from cars and computers to book and baby clothes.

It will boost retail sales and consumer confidence and will help everyone in the retail chain from assembly line workers and truck drivers to shelf-stockers and salespeople.

This national sales tax holiday is immediate. Every American can take advantage of it. It won't break the bank. It will directly stimulate our economy by boosting sales, and supporting retail, transportation, and manufacturing jobs throughout the country.

Many businesses rely on the holiday season to make it through the year. And many workers count on those retail jobs before Christmas. Our bill helps both.

Even before September 11th, this was shaping up to be a difficult time for retail businesses and the thousands of workers they employ.

This sales tax holiday will give our economy a shot in the arm. And it'll give families a break when they need it most. Our bill sets the date of the tax holiday from November 23 to December 2nd. That's the traditional start of the holiday shopping season.

Many Americans are looking for ways to support our country. With a sales tax holiday, you can help jumpstart our economy just by buying things for school or work or home. It's also easy. You don't have to wait for a check. You don't have to fit in a certain income bracket. You buy what you need, you put someone to work, you give our country a boost and you save money. What a deal!

Seven states plus the District of Columbia have used tax holidays, and they've had great results. In August of this year, monthly sales in Maryland and DC increased by 10 percent.

Under our approach, the federal government will reimburse states for lost sales tax revenue. Right now, we estimate the cost to be $6.5 billion depending on how many states participate, and how strongly consumers respond. Under our plan, every penny of this $6.5 billion will go directly into the economy.

This idea is winning support across the political spectrum. Everyone from Grover Norquist on the right to Alan Blinder on the left have expressed support for a sales tax holiday. So I'm proud to stand with my colleague Senator Snowe today to outline this legislation. It's fair. It's responsible. It will help families, and it will stimulate our economy. I'm looking forward to working with my colleagues to put this idea to work for the American people."