Hester files his gun tax holiday bill | Arkansas Blog

Friday, January 13, 2017

Hester files his gun tax holiday bill

Posted By on Fri, Jan 13, 2017 at 7:29 AM

AND WHY NOT A GOVERNMENT SUBSIDY: Sen. Bart Hester, who posted this on Twitter, would make such a purchase tax-free on a weekend in September.
  • AND WHY NOT A GOVERNMENT SUBSIDY: Sen. Bart Hester, who posted this on Twitter, would make such a purchase tax-free on a weekend in September.

As promised, Sen. Bart Hester, the extreme-right Republican, filed legislation late yesterday to exempt guns and ammo from the sales tax on a weekend beginning the second Saturday in September.

He styles this a Second Amendment Appreciation weekend.

It wouldn't appear government incentives are necessary to get Arkies to gun shops (autocorrect turned a typo in this originally to gunships). According to one account, Arkansas has the third-highest gun ownership in the country, about 41 guns for each 1,000 people, behind only Wyoming and Washington, D.C.

This is silly demagoguery, no more or less. But the gun culture being what it is in Arkansas, many legislators will vote for it, fearing backlash from the trigger-happy.

Seriously, special tax status for certain people and items of merchandise is bad government policy. Because where does it stop? Equal treatment under the law is a pretty good concept.

Why not a First Amendment weekend in which the state buys advertising in every news outlet in the state to reprint the words of that amendment and perhaps provide some important examples of its use? There are some other amendments worthy of incentivizing, too, such as that equal protection clause in the 14th.

But if we are to have tax incentives for worthy merchandise, how about a sales tax holiday for books? Or pianos? Or flowers? Or pizza?

I joked on Twitter when this idea first surfaced: Make Love Not War. Sales tax holiday on sex toys.

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