Tax holiday

A statewide proposal to create a sales-tax holiday in late June to stimulate the economy is drawing criticism. You might compare the idea to taking cough syrup; it may not taste very good to some, but overall it will leave the economy feeling better.

City and county government officials last week blasted the idea of eliminating state and local sales taxes on any item with a price tag below $600 during the tax holiday. The proposal sets no limits on purchases. And, unlike the annual sales-tax holiday for back-to-school purchases, it includes no allowance for cities or counties to opt out.

The Missouri Municipal League argues that local entities lose revenue on sales-tax holidays. The idea was that the tax revenue lost on school supplies would be offset by other purchases.

We understand why city officials, elected to protect the interests of their constituents, would complain. Lost revenue during a weak economy delivers a double blow.

But a sales-tax holiday that coincides with the economic stimulus checks that are coming in the mail from the IRS will address the bigger picture. It is not aimed at helping government. It is aimed at spurring the economy.

The big-picture answer to more sales-tax revenue for cities and counties is an improved economy. We hope the IRS stimulus checks and the sales-tax holiday will be just what the doctor ordered.