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Waste Watch: Sales Tax Holiday

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Nashville, TN - Sales tax holidays could be falling flat.
Critics say tonight that the statewide event known to save taxpayers millions of dollars each year in back-to-school supplies is a waste.

The Beacon Center of Tennessee supports lower taxes but says the sales tax holiday needs to take a permanent vacation.

Best Buy planned for about 10,000 shoppers to walk through their doors during this August sales tax holiday-- that's double a normal weekend which critics say distorts the market.

Tennesseans save almost 10-percent in taxes on clothing, school supplies and computer products in the 3-day period.

However, the Beacon Center of Tennessee claims consumers are not spending more and only their timing has changed.

Meanwhile, the state is foregoing 8-10 million dollars in revenue.

Justin Owen believes the state should be cutting taxes every day of the year-- not just three of them.

The Tennessee Department of Revenue declined an on camera interview but in a written statement, says "Governor Haslam and the general assembly have worked together to lower the sales tax on food, lower the hall income tax burden on senior citizens and phase out the estate tax and gift tax."

Only 17 states in the country still hold sales tax holidays.

Owen says its because only politicians benefit from them.

"If you have to have a sales tax holiday, it indicates that your taxes are too high to begin with and you've got to provide people with some relief.  That's a problem."

Owen says across-the-board tax cuts would also be more fair to shoppers and businesses, keeping money in everyone's pocket.