Assemblyman Ramos: State Sales Tax Needs To Go

March 17, 2006

Assemblyman Phil Ramos is committed to seeing that the state’s 4 percent sales tax on clothing and footwear will be eliminated as scheduled on April 1. Eliminating the state sales tax would save Suffolk families $57 million a year.

The Assembly passed its budget proposal this week calling for a permanent elimination of the state sales tax on clothing providing working families with much needed tax relief. The governor’s misguided notion that a couple of sales tax-free weeks a year would save families money is unfounded. Now that the state has a multi-billion dollar surplus the need for this tax is over.

Effective April 1, the state’s 4 percent sales tax on clothing and footwear items under $110 is scheduled to be eliminated. But the governor’s proposed budget repeals the scheduled tax break, while giving new tax breaks that benefit the wealthiest New Yorkers.

I hope the Senate and the governor will agree that it is time to permanently end this sales tax because it is no longer necessary. Everywhere we look, prices are going up, whether its gas prices, energy costs, tuition or health care. This is an opportunity for the governor to help the state’s working families, not just wealthy New Yorkers.

By simply letting this provision expire as scheduled – we can save working families more of their hard-earned money. I am hopeful that the final negotiated budget will include the Assembly’s proposal to put an end to this regressive tax.