Senator Flanagan Encourages Suffolk To Join Tax-free Shopping

John J. Flanagan

May 02, 2006

Senator John J. Flanagan today encouraged Suffolk County to join New York State in eliminating its portion of the sales tax on clothing and footwear under $110. The state eliminated its portion of the tax during budget negotiations in March and New York consumers have benefited from the elimination since April 1st. Suffolk County has not yet opted to join the state in providing this relief.

"With the approval of special legislation, Suffolk County can provide important sales tax relief to residents and consumers by accelerating the full benefit of these savings by nine months. While the County has participated with state-sponsored sales tax-free weeks in the past, this is an opportunity to give consumers even greater buying power and savings year-round," stated Senator Flanagan. "For most families, buying clothes and footwear is a necessity and not a luxury. Any assistance we can provide in easing the cost of these basic essential items should be pursued at every level of government."

The on-time budget enacted by the Senate contained a provision, which has been signed into law by Governor George Pataki, that allows counties the opportunity to participate in the clothing exemption.

If Suffolk County decides to participate in the program, consumers would save the entire 8 5/8% sales tax on clothing and footwear under $110 beginning on June 1st. Without the special authorization, counties would have had to wait until March 1st of next year to offer this added tax savings to consumers.

For the full exemption to be effective on June 1st, Suffolk County would need to adopt a local resolution by May 15th expressing its support in joining the state tax relief program. In order to meet that deadline, the County could hold a special meeting of the Legislature to separately consider granting this important tax relief measure.

Suffolk County recently announced approximately $25 million in savings resulting from the State’s effort in capping local Medicaid expenses back in 2005. By participating in the permanent clothing exemption, Suffolk County could essentially pass these important Medicaid savings along to county residents.

"I am hopeful that Suffolk County residents will be able to fully benefit from the complete elimination of the sales tax on clothing and shoes under $110. Long Island consumers need tax relief now more than ever and deserve to get the full value of their shopping dollar as quickly as possible. If approved by Suffolk County, consumers would get the benefit of shopping tax-free on clothing items through the summer vacation season, the opening of school and into the holidays," concluded Senator Flanagan.

To view a complete list of items that are exempt under the New York State tax-free shopping program, residents can visit THE TAX FREE SHOPPINGSECTION of this web site.