Sales tax in Dutchess could be waived on some clothing, footwear

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Clothes fill the shelves and cover the tables in the Elizabeth boutique.

The store, a staple of the Arlington business district, has thrived since 2008, selling trendy women’s clothing. But shoppers are willing to travel, and local business owners often have to compete with more than just regional stores.

“I think people go to Jersey tax free [on clothing]”said Beth Madsen, owner of Elizabeth Boutique.” I don’t think any tax on clothing stops people from spending money. “

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But a measure due to be presented to the Dutchess County Legislature could be a boon according to some local clothing store owners, while saving money for shoppers.

County executive Marc Molinaro will present a resolution to enact a sales tax exemption for clothing and footwear under $ 110 each. The resolution will be presented on October 27, and if approved, the exemption would go into effect in March.

For Madsen, the exemption would be an opportunity to attract buyers at a time when online sales are becoming more and more important.

“It would be a sales factor for me, for my customers to know they were saving money,” Madsen said. “It’s definitely something I would promote, so people knew they were saving money.”

Clothing and Footwear Sales Tax Exemption

Sales tax in Dutchess County is 8.125%, with 4% going to the state, 4% to the county, and 0.125% to the suburban metropolitan transportation district.

As of March 2020, clothing and footwear under $ 110 are exempt from sales tax statewide. If the resolution is passed, these items would be exempt from the remaining 4.125%

Molinaro said the decision to implement these tax exemptions stems from the county’s stable financial situation. It will be implemented without any negative impact on programs or service cuts, he said.

“As a result, we continue to offer tax breaks to our residents, and this exemption on clothing and footwear highlights our continued efforts to reduce resident taxes and keep those dollars in their pocket,” he said. he declares.

County Legislature Speaker Gregg Pulver said the exemption would benefit local buyers.

“The residents of Dutchess County work hard for their money, and they deserve to keep as much as possible,” said the North Dutchess Republican.

The county predicts that the exemption will save taxpayers nearly $ 12 million in 2022 and about $ 14 million annually.

While this is a benefit to buyers, it is a small percentage of the total amount of sales tax in the county each year. At $ 205 million, sales tax represented about 40.9% of the county’s projected revenue in its 2021 budget.

Assistant Buyer Alexa Hummel checks out some hangouts at the Elizabeth boutique in Arlington's business district on October 5, 2021.

Benefits for local traders

Barbara Schreiber, owner of the Rhinebeck department store, said sales tax can be a sticking point for some shoppers from other states.

“When people come from other states they sometimes challenge us and say, ‘Well, why are you charging us sales tax? ” she said.

After qualifying clothing and footwear was exempt from the state’s sales tax in 2020, Schreiber said she adjusted the prices of her inventory that were just in line to offer savings to customers. .

“Obviously, less tax that someone has to pay in any situation is always a benefit to the consumer,” she said.

Its only concern is the possibility that the region may see an increase in other taxes down the line to balance the exemption.

“I certainly don’t want my municipal taxes in my county taxes going up to make up for that,” she said.

At Elizabeth Boutique, Madsen said customers have shown a greater appreciation for their local stores, and an opportunity to save could mean more people come to shop.

“With everything between COVID and the shutdown, I think the savings are important for everyone, and I think local purchases are more important than before,” she said.

Geoffrey Wilson: [email protected]; 845-437-4882; Twitter: @GeoffWilson_


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