Lower Hudson Valley shoppers who plan carefully could save money when they shop for back-to-school items this month.
New York this year reinstated its sales tax exemption for clothing and footwear costing less than $110, a year-round perk that has come and gone since its introduction in 1996 as the state sought to balance its budget. But shop around and plan ahead because better deals could be a short drive away.
Connecticut is holding its tax-free week from Aug. 19 to Aug. 25, exempting certain purchases from its 6.35 percent sales tax. The exemption applies to clothing and footwear that costs $300 or less. A bonus: The exemption applies to purchases at Connecticut retailers as well as online retailers that are required collect sales taxes from Connecticut residents. It also applies to items placed on layaway but purchased during the week.
You can read more about Connecticut’s exemption rules here. New York no longer participates in sales tax holidays, but after Connecticut’s tax-free week is over shoppers in that state may cross the border to continue enjoying New York’s ongoing exemption.
New Jersey has long exempted most clothing from sales tax – 7 percent – giving it a competitive advantage to surrounding states.
Shoppers nationwide are expected to spend $83.8 billion this year for back-to-school and back-to-college items, according to a National Retail Federation’s spending survey. The chart below shows the increases in average yearly spending for back-to-school and back-to-college since 2003.