I thought of this story after writing yesterday's post.
When I first read about Second Amendment sales tax holidays, it was South Carolina's. I happened to be doing a series of seminars in Tennessee that week and mentioned it in my class in Chattanooga.
(For those of you who don't know your Bill of Rights, Second Amendment sales tax holidays allow the purchase of firearms without sales tax). Read on to see why I think they exist.
South Carolina (and Louisiana) both have, in the past, scheduled them for the weekend after Thanksgiving.
Tony was in the class in Tennessee and when I mentioned the holiday, his eyes got really wide and he started squirming around in his seat.
I said, "Tony, you're thinking about taking a little road trip to South Carolina to buy yourself some guns, aren't you?"
"Heck yeah! I can save myself a ton of sales tax!"
"Now Tony, you do realize that, while you can buy those guns without tax in South Carolina, when you bring them back here to Tennessee, you're going to have to pay 9% use tax, right?" It was a sales tax seminar, so I made this a teaching experience for Tony.
His response, "Yeah. Right."
So much for even making them feel guilty!
OK, why do states have a Second Amendment sales tax holiday?
I have a couple of theories (and they are just theories):
1. As with any other sales tax holiday, it's an opportunity for South Carolina to suck business into the state for their retailers. The politicians know that the customers won't pay use tax when they return home to their own state - and they don't care.
2. It's a Second Amendment holiday, and it gives the politicians a chance to curry favor with the real men in their districts. Just kidding, if you were about to take offense.
3. These are held on the weekend after Thanksgiving. Which is often the opening of deer hunting season.
4. It's the weekend after Thanksgiving. Tony's family wants to go shopping. He might be able to justify this road trip to South Carolina by suggesting it be a shopping trip for Mom and Sis and Junior too. So, while he and Junior are shopping for guns, Mom and Sis are spending money, and paying lots of South Carolina sales tax on their purchases at the malls. Maybe South Carolina figures that they'll lose some sales tax on the gun sales, but they'll make it up on all of the other shopping that will be brought into the state that weekend. Nah, I can't believe politicians would be that devious.
As I finish this up, it occurs to me that this would be an ideal post for just before Thanksgiving. And here I am, two weeks late. But, I can see an "oldie, but goodie" post in my future for next November.
I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving and I wish you a Merry Christmas.
See you next week.
Sales Tax Guy
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