New Jersey sales tax exemption for back-to-school supplies will go into effect at the end of summer

New Jersey will sell duty-free school supplies for 10 days at the end of the summer in an effort to make the back-to-school season more affordable for families, Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday.

From August 27 through September 3, the state will waive its 6.625% sales tax on back-to-school items thanks to a $2 billion tax relief plan included in the state’s fiscal budget. As the prices of essential items continue to rise amid rising inflation, government officials at the local, state and federal levels have proposed tax breaks to provide some relief.

“Today we take a monumental step in my administration’s commitment to making New Jersey a stronger, fairer and more affordable state for our residents,” Murphy said. “A back-to-school tax break has been talked about for a long time, and with inflation being a central concern at the kitchen tables of many of our residents, now is the time to do it.”

Items to be sold duty-free include pens, pencils, notebooks and folders; paint, brushes, clay and glazes; reference books, maps, globes, textbooks and workbooks; and computers, printers, and digital assistants.

The tax exemption will apply to both in-person and online sales. A Treasury spokesperson told NJ.com that the state expects to forgo $75 million in tax revenue as a result of the tax break.

“Preparing for a new school year is a mentally, emotionally and financially stressful time for New Jersey families,” said Sen. Vin Gopal, a Democrat from Monmouth County. “By implementing this sales tax holiday in the weeks before the first bell rings, we’ll offer families a measure of relief from that stress by helping them fill their children’s back-to-school rosters without breaking their budgets.” relatives”.

The average family pays more than $250 for school supplies each year, while teachers pay up to $600 out of pocket for school supplies before the school year, said Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, a Gloucester County Democrat.

The back-to-school tax break is the latest in a series of relief measures proposed or enacted in New Jersey. They included a proposed bill that would expand property tax relief statewide.

Other proposals include a gas tax exemption, though President Joe Biden has also called on Congress to pass a federal gas tax exemption to provide relief to drivers across the country.

Although officials said Wednesday that the average family can expect to save between $50 and $100 on school supplies during the tax break, opponents of the plan called it a “gimmick” that provides no “real relief” for families. amid rising costs.

However, the tax break is not limited to families or students, or even New Jersey residents. Anyone who buys those supplies in New Jersey during the 10-day tax holiday is eligible to save money through a sales tax exemption.

Depending on its success and results at the end of the summer, officials said they might consider rolling it out each year to help families shop for back-to-school purchases.

Nationally, prices have risen 8.6% in the last 12 months, with food and energy costs seeing the biggest increases, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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