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June 6, 2002


Tax exempt days include June 9th through 11th, July 9th through 11th, and August 20th through 22nd

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver today announced three City and State sales-tax-free periods -- nine days in total over the summer months -- in an effort to bring shoppers downtown to help stabilize and revitalize the small business community south of Houston Street after the events of September 11th. Purchases of goods and services up to $500 will be exempt from the 8.25% sales tax during these tax-free periods. Governor George E. Pataki, City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, Department of Business Services Commissioner Robert Walsh, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York Carl Weisbrod, Asian American Federation of New York Executive Director Cao K. O, and Wall Street Rising President and Founder Julie Menin also attended the announcement at City Hall.

"The vibrant and varied shopping districts of Lower Manhattan are open for business, and small businesses throughout the area stand ready to serve customers who take advantage of these tax-free days this summer," said Mayor Bloomberg. "From Soho to the Lower East Side, from Chinatown to Battery Park City, I encourage you to spend your money -- tax free -- in any of the thousands of retail shops, small businesses and eateries in Lower Manhattan. I want to thank Speaker Silver for championing this initiative to boost not only the economy but also the spirits of businesses throughout downtown."

"In the aftermath of 9/11, stores, restaurants and other establishments throughout Lower Manhattan experienced a huge loss in customer traffic, and many are still struggling," said Speaker Silver. "Attracting customers back to this vibrant community is key to our rebuilding efforts. That is why I proposed these sales-tax-free days and made sure that they were included in the final enacted state budget."

Purchases of goods and services up to $500 in the Lower Manhattan Resurgence Zone -- the area below Houston Street river to river -- will be exempt from City and State sales tax for three three-day periods including Sunday, June 9th through Tuesday, June 11th, Tuesday, July 9th through Thursday, July 11th, and Tuesday, August 20th through Thursday, August 22nd. Tax-free activities include eating in restaurants, staying at hotels and motels, and buying items such as clothes, pre-paid phone cards, CDs and electronics equipment. Motor fuel, cigarettes and tobacco products are not included.

"We applaud Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Silver for agreeing to nine sales-tax-free days as part of the City and State budgets," said Mr. Weisbrod. "What downtown retailers want most of all are customers. And now that Lower Manhattan is, once again, fully and easily accessible to all metropolitan area residents, these tax-free days will attract customers in an effort to reestablish pre-September 11th buying patterns."

"With over 1,400 retail shops and nearly 300 restaurants, Manhattan's Chinatown is an active commercial hub as well as a major tourist destination," said Mr. Cao O. "Increased spending throughout the neighborhood will greatly enhance economic recovery efforts of Chinatown and Lower Manhattan."

"Since September 11th, Lower Manhattan has lost one-third of its customer base, severely impacting the recovery of the small businesses downtown," said Ms. Menin. "This tax-free initiative will truly provide an incentive for people to come to Lower Manhattan, to shop, to spend money and help continue the recovery of these small businesses."

"One of the best ways to support Lower Manhattan businesses is by patronizing them," said EDC President Alper. "Shopping in Lower Manhattan during the sales tax-free days is a great way to help downtown retailers, while also saving money. I urge people to take advantage of downtown shopping opportunities, particularly during these tax-free periods."

"Supporting small businesses of all kinds is the single-most important tool at our disposal to bring about full economic recovery in areas that need it most," said DBS Commissioner Walsh. "This summer's tax-free days are a smart strategy to generate activity in the streets and shops of downtown Manhattan that will translate into sales and restored economic health."

For more information, log on to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance website at (in PDF).

Contact: Ed Skyler/Jennifer Falk
(212) 788-2958
  Charles Carrier (Assembly)
(518) 455-3888