Texas lawmakers call for Sales Tax Holiday for small businesses

{via the Austin American Statesman}

Texas’ top accountant and several state lawmakers announced their support today for “Small Business Saturday,” a sales-tax-free counterpoint to the Black Friday sales spree that follows Thanksgiving.

According to the proposal, shoppers on that Saturday would pay no state sales tax at Texas-based businesses that bring in less than $5 million annually. State Comptroller Glenn Hegar and Republican representatives Angie Chen Button and Dwayne Bohac said the idea is to encourage shoppers to spread the love.

Bohac, who owned Ashley Avery’s Collectibles in Houston for 21 years, said, “We kind of dreaded Black Friday, because we knew customers would be flooding to the big-box stores” and he would do little or no business

“It’s time to let the little dogs eat,” he said.

At a Wednesday news conference, bill sponsors said singling out small businesses — and excluding bigger ones from the tax break — is appropriate. Small businesses operate on small enough margins to make any break worthwhile, said Holly Mace Massingill, owner of the downtown Lone Star Legacies shop.

“We’ve lost our street parking, we’re seeing our rent go up, and any thing like (the Small Business Saturday) proposal helps,” said Mace Massingill, who attended the press conference.

HB 2694 has not been voted on by either chamber of the Legislature. It would not affect local sales taxes collected for city services and transportation agencies. The bill’s House authors, who also include El Paso Democrat Marisa Márquez, Houston Republican Sarah Davis and Flower Mound Republican Tan Parker, settled on $5 million in gross sales as the threshold for what would qualify as a small business based on similar discussions in other tax measures.

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