Pa. Gov. Ridge Proposes "Tax-Free PC" Holiday

Pennsylvanians soon will have two week-long opportunities to purchase personal

computers tax-free, thanks to an initiative announced Thursday by Gov. Tom

Ridge.

Ridge's "Tax-Free PC" holiday is designed to encourage residents to

embrace technology in their homes.

"It's so important for our children to have access to computers at a

young age, where they can learn skills that will carry them into the technology-driven

work force of the 21st century," Ridge said in a statement. "And we want

their parents and grandparents to feel comfortable using computers, too,

so they also can enjoy the benefits of being online."

The tax-free holidays will give families who normally cannot afford

the $1,800 average cost of a computer and related equipment a chance to

purchase them without having to pay the state's 6 percent sales tax.

"This tax cut would save our consumer more than $100 on that purchase,"

he said. "Plus, we hope to work with our retailers to create additional

sales at the time of the tax holiday so consumers can save a lot more."

The fiscal impact to the state is expected to be $8.3 million in lost

tax revenue, including $200,000 each for Philadelphia and Allegheny counties.

Ridge introduced the sales tax holiday for computers during his budget

address in February. "It will need legislative approval as part of the [overall]

budget process, but we're pretty confident that will happen," said Ridge

spokesman Steve Aaron.

The two sales tax-free PC weeks will coincide with back-to-school season

in August and the President's Day holiday in February of 2001.

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