Conflating ‘state government’ with ‘the state’

With the statewide sales tax holiday in effect this weekend, an otherwise straight news story on the News & Observer‘s front page tells us:

For the state, the tax holiday is a losing proposition. By the state’s own estimates, it will forfeit about $14.5 million in taxes during the three-day shopping event. Some lawmakers have suggested it might be time to rethink the wisdom of losing revenue during a budget crunch.

This is true only if you consider “the state” to mean “state government.” Conflating the terms is sloppy and misleading. Adding “government” to the first two sentences in the quotation would have provided a more accurate depiction of who actually suffers when the people of the state are allowed to keep more of their own money.

That’s not to say that a sales tax holiday is a good idea. We’ve debunked that notion before.



Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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