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From our State Capitol in Lansing to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, WKAR is committed to explaining how the actions of lawmakers are affecting Michiganders. Political and government reporter Abigail Censky leads this section. There are also stories from Capitol correspondents Cheyna Roth, Rick Pluta and the Associated Press. As the 2020 presidential race begins, look here for reports on the role Michigan will play in electing or re-electing the president.

Democratic Lawmakers Propose School Spending Holiday

orange shopping carts
flickr/Creative Commons

Michigan residents could get a break on their back to school shopping. There are recently introduced bills that would create a back to school spending holiday.

States with School Sales Tax Holidays: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia

A proposed bill would allow Michigan parents and teachers to use the third Saturday in August to do their back to school shopping.

Some of the items that would not have a tax include personal computers that cost less than $1,000, and various school supplies like notebooks, pens, and rulers.

Democratic Representative Matt Koleszar is a bill sponsor. He said he’s talked to people in other states that have created the holiday. And he said it’s successful.

"This is not something that’s reinventing the wheel, this is not something that’s never been tried before," said Koleszar. 

Democratic Representative co-sponsor Nate Shannon said eliminating the sales and use tax could add up for families.

“That can be significant savings to families and teachers out there that are living paycheck to paycheck," said Shannon.

The bills are waiting for a committee hearing – but the Legislature isn’t expected back until the end of August.

Click here for states that hold Sales Tax Holidays and what items are tax free.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County.
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