Paul and Rule introduce one-time sales tax holiday to ‘shop local and save’ 

OLYMPIA—Whether your kids need back-to-school clothes or you need a new dishwasher, a proposed law would exempt such purchases from sales taxes for three days in September. 

“This is about helping our friends, neighbors, and beloved small businesses on Main Street,” said Rep. Dave Paul (D-Oak Harbor), author of House Bill 2018. “The covid pandemic has been tough on all of us. I worked with Rep. Rule on this bill because it’s something tangible we can do to give people a break and stimulate local economies throughout the great state of Washington. We know that many parents struggle with back-to-school purchases, so we selected Labor Day to help make the lives of working families a little easier.” 

Under the legislation, there would be no sales tax this year on Sept. 3, Sept. 4, and Sept. 5 for certain items priced $1,000 or less, including clothing, school supplies, computers, durable medical goods, and energy efficient appliances.  

“We all need a break right now, especially our small businesses that have fought to keep their doors open despite the pandemic, staff shortages, and extreme weather,” said Rep. Rule (D-Blaine). “Our neighborhood shoe shops, bookstores, and hardware stores are the backbone of the American economy, and yet they’re left in the lurch when large corporations can easily pivot in emergencies and out-compete them. It’s more important than ever to shop local and support our neighbors.” 

Not included under the legislation: tobacco or marijuana products, alcoholic beverages, utilities, travel, meals, motor vehicles, boats, services, or construction goods. 

“When you spend money at local small businesses, those funds help our Main Streets—not Wall Street,” Paul said. “Shopping local creates more jobs in our community. This legislation will give our families and our local businesses a big boost in September and beyond.”