Mayor's WINS Address
As the summer winds down and we prepare to send our kids back to school, parents across the city can welcome the new school year with a week of sales tax-free shopping for all items of clothing and shoes under $500.
It's a great opportunity to buy all the clothes you need for the school year without the burdensome and regressive 8.25 percent tax. In addition to costing New York shoppers millions and millions of dollars, that tax makes the city's businesses suffer. They lose more than $700 million in retail sales every year to New Jersey because New York taxes shoes and clothing while New Jersey doesn't.
That's why for years we fought hard to drop New York's sales tax on clothing. We wanted to keep that money in New York City so that it would help spur our economy and create thousands and thousands of jobs.
During the tax-free weeks that we've had over the past couple of years, sales increased by up to 77 percent. That was persuasive evidence that eliminating the tax would generate more economic activity, and would result in better business and more jobs for New Yorkers.
That's why, in March of next year, New York State will permanently eliminate its 4 percent tax and the Metropolitan Transit Authority's .25 percent sales tax on clothing and shoes priced under $110. Local municipalities will be able to eliminate their sales taxes as well. In New York City, this will result in savings of 8.25 percent for all consumers. That's expected to generate $910 million in direct and indirect annual spending in the city and create an additional 13,000 jobs.
But you don't have to wait until the year 2000 to shop tax-free. You can go to the store this week-between September 1 and September 7-and buy shoes and clothes tax-free for your kids' return to school, picking up some new tax-free clothes for yourself while you're at it. So I hope everyone enjoys the week, and I hope children return to class ready and eager to make this a very, very productive school year.
This is Rudy Giuliani.
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