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Sales Tax on Clothes Coming to Minn.?

Posted at: 01/16/2013 9:10 PM
Updated at: 01/16/2013 10:21 PM
By: Travis Dill
tdill@wdio.com

State lawmakers are more than $1 billion in the red for the next biennium, and looking for ways to pay for it.

One option is adding sales tax to clothing purchases over $200.

It is a new idea for Minnesota shoppers, adding in sales tax when picking out new clothes.

Shoppers at the Miller Hill Mall in Duluth had mixed feelings about the possible sales tax on Wednesday.

Cathy Hansen is against the proposed tax. That is because she has experience with higher state taxes.

“Raised in California and know that over time it does make a difference. You know, it doesn't sound like a lot, but over time yeah it is a big difference,” Hansen said.

She said it would hurt people buying necessities.

“People are going to go out and purchase what they need, but it's just again an additional burden. So I think it's a bad idea,” Hansen said.

But not every shopper felt the same way. Emma VanVactor-Lee said she enjoys shopping for new clothes.

“I mean I like it. If I have the money I like spending it on shopping. It's fun,” VanVactor-Lee said.

But that did not stop her from supporting the proposed tax.

“I feel like since we don't have taxes on clothes already have this would be a good way to get us out of the deficit. Especially if it's only on spending more than like $200. I feel like that's totally reasonable,” VanVactor-Lee said.

State lawmakers will look at many ways to cut down the deficit, but Northland shoppers are divided on the clothing tax.

That is only one plan lawmakers are considering. They also looked at a plan to collect sales tax on internet purchases.

Business groups support that option because they said online sales have an advantage over brick-and-mortar stores.