NRF prompts P-E Obama for sales tax holidays

Washington – The National Retail Federation today posted an open letter to President-elect Barack Obama proposing three 10-day national sales tax holidays, as well as longer-term economic measures.

“We urge you to act quickly on legislation to help stimulate consumer spending as one of the first priorities of your new administration,” the NRF said in a letter to Obama.

The 10-day periods – each to include two weekends – were suggested for March, July and October. “The federal government would reimburse the 45 states that have sales taxes for the lost revenue, and would provide the five states without a sales tax (Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon) with revenue approximating the sales tax reimbursement that would be received by states with similar population,” the NRF proposed.

The NRF estimated this measure would provide a $20 billion shot in the arm to consumer spending nationwide.

For the long term, NRF hailed plans for infrastructure investment in roads, rails, ports, public schools and renewable energy projects. “We believe that significant investment in infrastructure spending will provide jobs and increase GDP at a higher rate than most other government investments, and will produce longer-term, sustained growth,” said NRF president and ceo Tracy Mullin.

The letter was signed by Mullin and by NRF chairman Mike Ullman, chairman and ceo, JCPenney; NRF first vice chairman Philip Francis, chairman and ceo, PetSmart; and NRF second vice chairman Stephen Sadove, chairman and ceo, Saks Inc.

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