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No NYC Sales Tax Already Has Many Long Island Retailers Fearful

Nassau, Suffolk Need The Income, But May Have No Choice But To Capitulate
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Woman carrying shopping bags (file/credit: Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

Woman carrying shopping bags (file/credit: Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

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MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Attention New York City shoppers: there’s no more sales tax and already “border wars” are underway. It turns out Long Island retailers are ready to rumble, as savvy buyers look to save.

Shoppers learning of the new tax rollback said Monday they are delighted that New York State is willing to forgo some revenue, because, for them, it is already an incentive to buy more.

“That pair of shoes for $85, I’m going to be saving money on taxes,” shopper Pedro Sanchez told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan, when asked what he may purchase.

Sanchez shopped at Apollo Shoes in Bayside, Queens, where the manager was crossing her fingers.

“I hope it is good, and brings more business here, because it’s been slow” Annamarie Gegan said.

For the next year, throughout the city’s five boroughs, there will be no more state sales tax on clothing and footwear that cost less than $110.

Most local governments will continue to collect, but the city and nine upstate counties will not.

“Great news. Good for New York. And it will keep me shopping in the area, because I do tend to go out to Long Island,” Hollis Hills, Queens shopper Christina Shonfeld said.

Long Island malls are now on alert. Their complaining customers are demanding why not here, too?

Nassau and Suffolk counties have no exemptions. Lawmakers say the counties are too broke. So the Island will retain its 4.25 percent sales tax, and local mom and pop stores — like Sugarplum dress shop in Nassau — are disappointed.

“A lot of stores are going to close, as I hear all of my fellow retailers are struggling,” owner Lori Altman said.

Altman said she is banking on customer loyalty and some financial experts predict tax breaks are stirring the pot.

“When times are tight like they are now, you may find fighting between counties,” said Anthony Basile of the Hofstra University School of Business.

If neighboring counties discover they’re dramatically losing shoppers to New York City they may match the offer, and jump aboard the no sales tax bandwagon.

Connecticut tacks on a 6.35 percent sales tax, but New Jersey exempts most clothing and footwear from its 7 percent sales tax.

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