Senator Helming Pushes for State Sales Tax Break on Back-to-School Supplies

Senator Helming is calling for the State Senate to take immediate action on inflation relief measures for New Yorkers, including a bill (S.2583) she sponsors to exempt school supplies, including costly computer equipment, from the 4% state sales and use tax.

The tax break would be for the one-week preceding Labor Day, providing some relief to families being crushed by higher gas, food and utility costs.

According to a recent USA Today article, a Morning Consult survey showed that just 36% of parents said they can afford their kids’ back-to-school shopping, down from 52% last year. According to a Deloitte survey, parents plan to spend $661 this back-to-school season, up 8% from last year, largely due to inflation.

“With record-high inflation, and family budgets already being squeezed by higher prices, we must take action to provide some relief to taxpayers. Technology is advancing education. For many students, notebooks are now Chromebooks and pencils are now styluses. Middle and high school students need calculators and other electronics. These are essential tools for learning, yet they are often costly. My bill will save parents money, whether they need traditional or more modern school supplies. And it will help teachers, who often purchase many classroom supplies with their own money,” said Senator Helming.

Currently in New York, clothing and footwear under $110 are exempt from the New York State 4% sales and use tax. Senator Helming said extending this tax exemption to school supplies for one week will give families some additional relief.  

Senator Helming and her Republican colleagues recently released a comprehensive plan to provide tax and other relief to New York’s families and businesses.