The Iowa legislature has scaled back the so-called “Tax Freedom Weekend” republicans have been pushing.The idea of “Tax Freedom Weekend” is to let Iowans shop for clothing and shoes on the first weekend in August, without paying sales taxes on most of those purchases. Weeks ago, the House voted to make it a three-day weekend of sales-tax-free purchases. Now, the Senate and House have decided to make it just a two-day event — on Friday and Saturday — for a couple of reasons. First: the state would loose too much sales tax revenue over three days. Second: a few cities in the state, like Pella, still have “blue laws” which keep businesses closed on Sundays. Senate Democrat Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs supported the bill. He says it’s a tax break targeted at working families.Representative Mike Cormack, a republican from Fort Dodge, was a “yes” vote, too. He says it feels good to do something for the “little guy.”Representative Dwayne Alons, a republican from Hull, expects some northern Iowans to buy at home that weekend rather than go shopping in Minnesota, where there is no sales tax on clothes.Critics say the “Tax Freedom Weekend” is merely a gimmick and the legislature should make more significant tax changes. Senator David Miller of Libertyville says Iowa’s taxes are too much of a “hodge-podge.” He says the biggest detriment to the goal of getting more Iowans in the state is the state’s tax policy.Governor Vilsack says it’s not necessarily the kind of tax cut he prefers, but he’ll approve it anyway.
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