Flip through any school fundraising brochure and you're sure to be tempted, but what it comes down to is the price you're willing to pay. In Mississippi, the price is going to be a little higher because current law requires sales tax to be added in.
"I think it's unfair for the children of Mississippi to be tax collectors for the state," said Ralph Cahill.
Cahill has been fundraising for 31 years and says the current law is unfair. That's because only products sold through school fundraisers are taxed. Fundraisers through organizations like the Boy Scouts, with their popcorn, or the Girl Scouts, with their cookies, are tax exempt.
"Those same boys and girls, when they go to their elementary school or their high school, beta club, whatever, they've got to collect sales tax and that's unfair," said Cahill.
It goes beyond just that. Cahill says in-state fundraising companies like his are loosing out, because he's having to charge higher prices for the same product sold through out of state companies which don't have to pay the tax.
"We lose lots of sales to these out of state companies. There's a major company out of Colorado that just absolutely invades these schools down here and their selling point is our products are a dollar to two dollars cheaper because you don't have to pay the sales tax," said Cahill.
"A PTO raises money, it's taxed. These kids raise money, it's taxed. That really shouldn't be happening," said Senator Chris McDaniel, a republican from Ellisville.
McDaniel is now putting a bill before lawmakers that would remove sales tax from fundraising with a school purpose.
"There's really no justification to take sales tax out of that money. If they raise that money, they should be allowed to keep that money for their goals," said McDaniel.
Cahill and McDaniel say schools are actually being hurt by the law because many consumers aren't willing to pay inflated prices. By changing the law McDaniel hopes schools can raise more money and be able to keep it. To make sure lawmakers are aware of the bill, Cahill gave a box of fundraising candy to every one of them.
Sen. McDaniel says many lawmakers may be unaware of the taxation and hopes to get support for the bill. That legislation is currently pending in the senate finance committee.
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