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A Reprieve for Putnam Shoppers

Starting in March, sales tax on clothing and footwear less than $110 will be eliminated for at least two years in Putnam County.

A resolution enacting the measure was passed unanimously by the Putnam Legislature last month as part of a series of initiatives in the 2024 county budget. County Executive Kevin Byrne recently signed the legislation into law.

“At a time when our residents are still struggling because of rampant inflation, county government must do its part to help out,” said Byrne. “Sales tax on needed goods like these are inherently regressive, disproportionately harming those most economically vulnerable. To many residents, that 4 percent tax on a new pair of shoes doesn’t seem like much, but to the single mom it could mean being able to afford an extra onesie for her child.”

The two-year sales tax exemption will begin March 1 and is expected to equate to a $3-million-per-year tax cut. During that period, the county will evaluate the exact fiscal impact and will have the option to renew the initiative in 2026.

“The Legislature is proud to work with the county executive to lower sales tax in Putnam County, and we also worked to lower property taxes in the county,” said Paul Jonke, chairman of the County Legislature. “This is what Putnam County now is – we are looking for ways to save the taxpayers money, and put the dollars back into the taxpayers’ pockets.”

“This will really help the populations we serve, folks who are having a difficult time making ends meet,” added Bill Hammond, co-chairman of Putnam Community Action Partnership, a nonprofit group that helps low-income families and at-risk individuals. “We know they can use this extra money, whether it’s for heating their homes or clothing their children, this is going to be a big help.”

According to Byrne, the state already doesn’t charge sales tax on clothing and footwear less than $110. So, with absolutely no sales tax being charged, for the first time it’s going to be cheaper to shop for clothes and shoes in Putnam County than it will be to go to neighboring Connecticut.

“I think this a wonderful move – it’s good for our community, it’s good for our businesses, and I want to encourage people to come to Putnam County and shop,” said Kathleen Abels, president of the Putnam County Economic Development Corporation.


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