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Monroe County Eliminating Sales Tax on Some Clothing Items


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Starting March 1, 2023 Monroe County will eliminate the county’s 4% sales tax on clothing and footwear sold for less than $110.


The new tax exemption includes goods such as boots, shoes, coats, shirts and more, applies to purchases in stores located in Monroe County and includes online purchases. Footwear and clothing under $110 are already exempt from the state's 4% sales tax.


According to Monroe County Executive, Adam Bello, the sales tax exemption will save shoppers an estimated $12 million yearly and help local retailers attract more customers.


“Clothing and shoes are as much of a basic necessity as food and housing — and shouldn’t be taxed,” Bello said.


Aqua Porter, executive director of the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative (RMAPI) agrees. Porter believes if the cycle of poverty in Rochester is to be broken, steps must be taken to shift power to enable upward mobility for all individuals and families.


“Monroe County’s new sales tax exemption is an important action that will have the greatest impact on our community’s most vulnerable members, those who often struggle to provide basic necessities for themselves and their families,” she said..


“(This) is an important step to make basic needs more affordable and accessible, which is especially important giving the rising costs that all members of our community have faced.”


Bello said he thanks the Monroe County Legislature for recognizing that record high inflation and rising costs are putting too much stress on family budgets without the added burden of a tax on basic family needs.”


“Local families could use every opportunity to save money on essential items. Food, shelter, and clothing are needs – not luxury items,” said County Legislator Albert Blankley.


Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy said the move to enact tax exemptions on clothing and shoe purchases under $110 will keep more money in the pockets of consumers and spur economic growth.


“We commend County Executive Bello and the Monroe County Legislature on taking this common sense step in a bipartisan manner,” Duffy said.


A complete list of items can be found at: https://www.tax.ny.gov/pubs_and_bulls/tg_bulletins/st/clothing_and_footwear.htm.


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