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Lawmakers Propose Tax-Free Weekends

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DENVER (CBS4) – Two new bills were introduced on Tuesday that would waive the state sales tax on items for one weekend a year.

Only certain things would be tax free and that depends on which bill is passed.

Democrats introduced a bill that would exempt school supplies and clothes from the state sales tax. Republicans introduced a bill that would exempt guns and ammunition.

Jannifer Douglass is a single mom with four kids.

Back-to-school shopping for her is always pricy every year.

“Easily in the thousands of dollars when dealing with a family of four,” said Douglass.

The cost of school supplies is so steep, state lawmakers are now stepping in with legislation establishing a “tax holiday.”

“We want to make sure to give some tax relief, especially to our families sending kids back to school with lists two to three pages long. Costs keep going up,” said Democratic Rep. Dan Pabon.

Pabon is carrying the bill that would waive the state sales tax on all school supplies, clothes and sports equipment the first weekend in August.

“We need to focus on our working families’ need and want and this is it,” said Pabon.

Republican Rep. Clarice Navarro introduced a bill creating a tax holiday for guns.

“Unfortunately with the leg that came down last year, this is an issue, and in order to keep my small business in business, I think this very important,” said Navarro.

Both bills were introduced the same day with the tax holidays the same weekend.

“Completely unaware of his bill. Completely unaware that’s the same weekend as mine,” said Navarro.

Navarro said that weekend is the start of hunting season and that Coloradans need both tax holidays.

However Pabon doesn’t agree.

“I don’t see their budgeting for guns weapons purchases when folks can barely afford the pens and pencils on school supply lists,” said Pabon.

While the gun tax holiday doesn’t have limits, the school supply tax holiday does.

The first $75 of a piece of clothing and first $50 of any other school item would be tax free.

The state sales tax is 2.9 percent so it would be about $3 savings on every $100 spent.

According to Pabon, if the bill passes, municipalities will likely follow suit.

Twenty other states already have tax holidays.

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