Thiele: Sales Tax Exemption a Welcome Relief for Holiday Shoppers

With the holiday shopping season upon us, be reminded of New York's relief from sales tax on clothing, footwear and related items costing less than $55 each.

With the advent of the holiday shopping season, it is timely to remind cash-strapped families about the much needed relief from the sales tax on clothing, footwear and related items sold for less than $55 each.

Since April 1, 2011, these items have been exempt from the State’s 4 percent sales tax, as well as the 0.375 percent sales tax for the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District.

The tax-free status applies to all relevant items whether they’re paid for in person, over the Internet, by phone or by mail. The exemption will grow to include apparel costing less than $110 on April 1, 2012. And the relief can’t come soon enough for our working families, who have struggled to keep afloat amid a down economy and a rising cost of living. The sales tax cut — which will save a family of four an estimated $90-$100 per year — will give those hardest hit by the regressive levy a much-needed break, helping them to better afford vital clothing and footwear.

The exemption will reenergize our economy and keep more dollars in taxpayers’ pockets at a time when it’s most critical. While this is sure to be a help for New York, particularly our communities that border New Jersey and Pennsylvania, we have more work to do if we’re to put the state back on the road to prosperity. That’s why I’ll continue exploring ways to ease the burden on hardworking taxpayers and clear a path for businesses to flourish.

For more information on the sales tax exemption, visit the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance’s website at www.tax.ny.gov.

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