1. Identify the important elements of sales taxation in your state (Arkansas). What governments levy general and selective sales taxes? Identify the following for the RST: What commodity sales are exempt? Are services taxed? What is the nominal rate? What are the brackets? Does your state (Arkansas) provide sales tax credits? In regard to selective excises: What selective excises are used? How are their bases defined? What rates apply?
3. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey: 2007 gives the following data:
Income Category Average Income Alcoholic Beverage Tobacco Products
of Family before Taxes ($) Expenditures ($) Expenditures ($)
First Quintile 10,531 176 259
Second Quintile 27,674 272 337
Third Quintile 46,213 413 381
Fourth Quintile 72,460 506 371
Highest Quintile 158,388 917 268
Analyze the likely vertical equity of selective excises on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.
7. Several states have declared sales tax holidays, in which the state does not collect sales tax on certain items for a short period of time. In most instances, the holiday has been for clothing and the period has been a week or 10 days in August the idea being to give a “back-to-school” discount as families get ready for the new year. However, states have gotten more adventurous with the idea in recent years, and have enacted or proposed holiday for hurricane survival supplies, gasoline, Energy Star appliances, and guns and ammunition. Analyze the idea of such holidays according to yield, equity, administration and compliance, and economic impact.