April Fools’ Day and Sales Tax

Had to check my calendar today. For a moment I thought it was April Fools’ Day.

You see, I read this in a story from Fox23 News:

New York state is bringing back its sales tax exemption on clothes and shoes…

Wait a minute, I need to check the calendar again. Nope, it still says that it’s March 19th, not April 1st. Let me pinch myself. –ouch!– Nope, not dreaming.

Can it be true? New York State is actually reducing a sales tax?

Before we get too enthusiastic, let’s look at some of the facts. There used to be an exemption on sales tax for clothing and shoes priced below $110. That exemption disappeared last year. After all, the state needs our money. It’s due to be reinstated in April but with a limit of $55 per item. Supposedly, the $110 exemption will be restored in 2012. (Although, according to the Times Union‘s Capitol Confidential blog, that may not be the case.)

Then I realized that the trigger date for the exemption changes is, you guessed it, April 1st!

I sense an April Fools’ joke coming on.

Leave a comment


  1. kelly

     /  March 19, 2011

    diapers are considered clothes (under the tax regs), and as such will be tax free April 1. which is nice because they are expensive enough. what’s really annoying and overreaching is that ny state says feminine products are •not• medical supplies (so they are taxable). so diapers are clothes and feminine products are . . .(?) guess i’ll have to ask my legislator, i am sure amedore or farley will know. 🙂

    • Perhaps a symptom of not enough women in state government? I’d love to be a fly on the wall when you ask the question of our legislators. 🙂

      • kelly

         /  March 20, 2011

        i don’t think it has to do with gender, you can’t be a male without knowing a female and this is pretty basic stuff. a lack of continuity (in regulation construction) or common sense seems to be the culprit here.

        the personal property tax in va reminds of the ‘use tax’ line on the ny personal income tax, but at least that is only a pittance compared to that crazy va tax!

      • I’ll definitely buy into the culprit being a lack of common sense. I think common sense too often becomes a casualty in the political realm.

  2. Having grown up in New Jersey I know the joys of (largely) tax free shopping. You know here in VA we have this most obnoxious little thing called a “personal property tax”. Basically it’s a tax on automobiles as though they were real estate. So in addition to the 8+% sales tax at the time of purchase we are also assessed a property tax yearly on each vehicle we own (currently two) based on the blue book value. Is that not ridiculous?! Oh, it ammounts to about $1300 this year.

    • Yee-ouch. Glad that we don’t have that one in NY (yet). I vaguely recall that tax from my brief time spent in VA. Don’t you have to pay that when you file your income taxes?


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