By Sophia Chang
In his fiscal year 2006 executive budget, Bloomberg has proposed permanently eliminating city sales tax on clothing and footwear priced under $110. “Reducing the sales tax is the fairest way to ease the tax burden on New Yorkers since everyone pays it,” he said during his weekly radio address on 1010 WINS News Radio Sunday. “It will help hardworking families make ends meet, stimulate our economy and prevent the loss of shopping dollars to neighboring cities and states.” Because there is a state sales tax, shoppers would still have to pay 4.25 percent on their purchases. Proponents say that the sales tax on everyday clothing and footwear unfairly targets lower-income city residents who need these basic staples. “Taxing clothing and footwear under $110 is extremely regressive since the demand for these basic necessities is highly inelastic,” said City Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing) in a statement. “This tax cut will help working families make ends meet.” Opponents say that the revenues from the city sales tax are essential to municipal functionality. There is already a weeklong exemption from state and city sales tax on clothing and footwear under $110 twice a year, usually timed to coincide with the school semesters to help families outfit their children. Council Speaker Gifford Miller (D-Manhattan), a candidate for mayor, also made a similar proposal a few months ago to eliminate city sales tax, according to published reports. Reach reporter Sophia Chang by e-mail at email@example.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.