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County paves for clothes tax amid civic

May '06
The State Legislature's rapid verdict last month to drop state sales tax on garments and other items has in fact puzzled some area merchants and customers.

Ontario County Administrators called a press conference to clear air and explained the year-round sales tax exemption for clothing, footwear and other items effective from April 1, 2006.

Legislature had dropped the 4 percent sales tax on clothing and shoes costing US $110 or less and decided for permanent tax exemptions just two days before the budget was passed.

Gary Baxter County Treasurer said a store had continued charging 7 percent sales tax, including the 4 percent that the state had in place, on those items.

Another store was also charging 10 percent sales tax although neither store has been identified. Within a week's time, the county treasurer and finance offices got about a dozen calls from taxpayers who complained about stores overcharging for sales tax on let off items, Baxter said.

“It's all over the map here, so we want to make sure the public is aware” of the exemptions, County Administrator Geoff Astles told reporters.

Baxter blamed the inconsistency partly on the state not doing a good job of announcing the information properly.

“It's not that we think there's anything evil here, but the information came out late, so there's a lot of confusion,” Geoff said.

Moreover conventional clothing, let off items include bandannas, bathing caps, not reusable and cloth diapers, ear muffs, gloves, gym suits, lab coats, shoes, shoe laces, sleepwear, unrented tuxedos and professional, scouting and athletic uniforms.

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