New Yorkers deserve a tax holiday

Remember that song by the Go-Gos? Vacation all I ever wanted... it was called Vacation, and its a catchy tune. I remember singing it for this punk band I was in back in my middle school days we called ourselves Ketchup Knife, whatever that meant. Good stuff. Well, Vermonters got that much needed vacation last weekend. Turns out, it paid off big-time for everyone. This spring, Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas fought hard and pushed through legislation that called for a state-wide tax holiday on all goods under $2,000. The result? According to Douglas, businesses are reporting record-breaking sales, and Vermonts department of transportation VTrans had to open up information centers along the freeways to accommodate the excess traffic that came from Canada, New York, and New Hampshire. Additionally, businesses offered sales to coincide with the tax-free weekend, providing much-needed relief to consumers. What does this have to do with New York? For starters and perhaps most obviously consumers in New York have never experienced such a holiday. Sure, we get to purchase clothing once a year without that seven percent tax, but the average taxpayer isnt complaining about clothing prices these days. Thats why Douglass legislation worked so well. I like Douglas; I suppose he reminds me of Former New York Gov. George Pataki on some levels. Hes a Republican, but he makes every effort to reach across party politics. For instance, one of the most important aspects of Douglass holiday was its collaboration with EnergyStar. Like I said, the average consumer isnt worrying about clothing; most are probably more concerned with replacing expensive appliances that burden them with high energy costs. So, EnergyStar signed up with Douglas to provide additional rebates to consumers who purchased their products during the tax holiday. Stores carrying EnergyStar products made more money, the consumer bought the otherwise expensive appliances at a discounted rate, and environmentalists could applaud Vermonters for doing their part. If thats not a win-win situation, I dont know what is. Gov. Paterson strikes me as a smart guy. Hes been pushing for municipalities to consolidate local government as a cost saving method. Hes championing enhanced drivers licenses. Im sure hes aware of whats going on in the Green Mountain State. Lets hope he considers a tax holiday for the Empire State. Because a vacation may be all New Yorkers ever wanted. Chris Morris is the news editor at Denton Publications. He can be reached at chrism@denpubs.com.

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