Three-quarters of all Americans believe it is important for children to have access to a computer at home. Unfortunately, only 36 percent of those surveyed feel computers are affordable, according to the Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA) 2005 Back to School Consumer Survey.
Fortunately, a growing number of states are not only recognizing the important role computers play in education but also that they are a major expense for many families. To help families afford home computers, ten states have enacted computer-inclusive sales tax holidays.
More families feel that computers are affordable in states that have computer-inclusive sales tax holidays. In fact, 50 percent of all Americans and 62 percent of Americans with children, say they would be more likely to purchase a computer during a sales tax holiday. Eliminating the 5 percent sales tax on a $1,000 to $2,000 computer purchase saves the consumer between $50 and $100.
“The good news is that more states understand the significant benefits sales tax holidays for computers bring to shoppers, retailers and families with school-aged children. It is clear that if there is a computer in the household, children will use it for schoolwork. We hope to see more states create such a program each year,” said Douglas Johnson, senior director of technology policy for CEA.
This year’s survey revealed that 85 percent of children with a home computer use it for school-related activities, which is no different than last year’s numbers. Children use home computers an average of 5.2 hours a week which is unchanged from 2003, however, between the ages of 12 and 17 home computer use almost doubles to 8.2 hours a week.