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Tax bites clothing ...

   OK. Not as interesting a headline as "Man bites dog." But directly affects the lives of a lot more people.

- Deficits lead to fewer tax breaks - Samantha Maziarz Christmann/The Buffalo News 
   You may have heard news of several states around the country organizing tax-free weeks timed to help consumers maximize the dollars they spend on back to school shopping. But if you’re waiting for Taxholiday something similar to happen here, don’t hold your breath.
   Not only will there be no further tax breaks, the ones we now enjoy are going away.
   Since March 2000, clothing and shoes costing up to $110 per item, along with items used to make or repair clothing, have been exempt from New York State’s sales tax year round.
   But as the state struggled to close a behemoth budget gap, that exemption has been eliminated. Starting Oct. 1, those same clothing items will again be subject to a 4 percent state sales tax.
   Before the year-round exemption went into effect, and for a period from 2003 to 2006 when the exemption was suspended, the state would hold tax-free weeks, one of which was usually timed during Labor Day weekend as families shopped for school clothing.
   At the same time, individual Western New York counties would elect to exempt the same items from its local sales tax. The move was an effort to spur retail sales while giving family budgets a break.
   But with local municipalities also facing huge deficits, there are no such plans to offer sales tax cuts this year.
   “We are in no position to participate,” said Grant Loomis, a spokesman for Erie County Executive Chris Collins. “Our sales tax figures are dramatically lower than even our most conservative estimates.”
   Or maybe not:
- County sales tax revenue up 16.5% in June - Jay Rey/The Buffalo News
   Erie County saw sales tax revenue go up in June, and contrary to the warnings coming from the county executive, is on target to reach its sales tax projections for the year, the county comptroller said.

   Related:
- Group: Sales-tax holiday a political stunt - Florida Today
   ... a conservative Washington, D.C.-based think tank, the Tax Foundation, believes these events aren't worth it. In fact, the 73-year-old organization said sales tax holidays are political stunts by lawmakers to convince voters they're getting more of a benefit than they really are.
- Tax holiday: 'tis the season - The Christian Science Monitor 
- Tax-free shopping in Va., Md. this weekend - The Washington Post
- Va. shoppers get tax break, governments lose cash - AP/BloombergBusinessWeek 
- MA state sales tax holiday is back - The Boston Globe
- Sales tax holiday spending: either the same or better than last year - The Birmingham News
- Sales tax holiday lets families save - The Tulsa World
- Shoppers on tax-free weekend tend to be looking for quality over a deal - The Winston-Salem Journal  

tagged

Current Affairs | Taxes | The Economy
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