AN OPEN MESSAGE TO CONGRESS:
No Stalling on Removal of the Excise Tax
President Truman has asked for cuts in the Excise Tax.
"Some," (Excise Taxes) he said, "are depressing certain lines of business."
That is a masterpiece of understatement. The Excise Tax has the handbag business by the throat.
Business for the manufacturers and retailers in this field will be close to a standstill until Congress acts. Most customers will not buy the merchandise our industry makes and sells until this tax action is taken.
The President asks that they be "reduced to the extent that resulting loss in revenue is replaced by revenue obtained from closing loopholes in the present tax laws."
"Closing loopholes" can follow.
Total elimination—not just cuts—of Excise Taxes should be the first business of Congress.
Since the President has spoken . . . practically all buying has stopped . . . the fate of these manufacturers and retailers awaits Congressional action.
Stall . . . and you stifle them.
Act . . . and you release them from the burden of these discriminatory taxes which have already depressed our industry and which threaten the very existence of many of the manufacturers and retailers who make it up.
Bear in mind these taxes were imposed during war days . . . not as revenue raisers, but to discourage and limit the use of materials needed for war production.
For this reason these taxes should have been repealed when war time material scarcities ended.
However, they have been continued as revenue producing taxes to the great harm of our industry—to its manufacturers, to its retailers and to its customers.
Conditions were bad enough under the yoke of the tax. Sales are down. Fewer consumers are buying. Retail turnover has declined. Production has slowed down.
Conditions will be worse while Congress debates. Few will buy. Retailers and manufacturers will face even more severe hardships until Congress officially acts on the President's recommendation—and acts to remove the tax entirely, not just simply cutting it.
And so, Congress, the immediate fate of our industry is in your hands. We respectfully urge you to enact the President's recommendation, that the Excise Tax on handbags and jewelry be repealed . . . and at once!
The Publisher of HANDBAGS and FASHION ACCESSORIES
Spokesman for thousands of handbag and accessory manufacturers and retailers throughout the 48 states of the Union.
This message, which will appear in the February issue, is especially pre-printed for distribution to all members of the United States Senate and the House of Representatives.
"Handbags and Fashion Accessories" February 1950, pages 1-2
Categories: 1950 Timeline