Fitzpatrick Calls on Governor to Abolish Sales Tax on Clothing and Footwear

Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick (R,C,I-Smithtown) joined a bipartisan Assembly coalition to call on Gov. George E. Pataki and the state Legislature to honor the promise it made to New Yorkers nearly two years ago – to permanently repeal the sales tax on clothing and footwear costing less than $110.

"Restoring the sales tax exemption is necessary to facilitate economic growth in New York, particularly in our downtown business districts," said Fitzpatrick. "Many small retail businesses suffer when consumers take their business to neighboring states that provide sales tax exemptions. This is a trend, as legislators, we need to reverse."

In 2000, Gov. Pataki and the Legislature repealed the sales tax on clothing and shoes costing less than $110. However, following the September 11 terrorist attacks and the massive budget deficit they helped create, the governor and state Legislature instituted a one-year moratorium, which has been extended to June 1, 2005.

Fitzpatrick cited the enormous success of sales tax-free weeks, which help New York’s small retail businesses remain competitive with out-of-state retailers.