State Watch

NJ to temporarily suspend sales tax on school supplies


New Jersey will temporarily suspend sales tax on a variety of school supplies at the end of August to provide relief to consumers as inflation continues to rise. 

Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said in a release posted on the governor’s website that he and legislative leaders reached an agreement to implement a sales tax holiday on the supplies from Aug. 27 to Sept. 5. The tax-exempt supplies will include school supplies like pens, notebooks and binders, school art supplies like paints and paintbrushes and instructional materials like textbooks and workbooks. 

The tax suspension will also cover computers and school computer supplies like printers and storage equipment, the release states. 

“A back-to-school tax holiday has been talked about for a long time, and as inflation is a central worry around many of our residents’ kitchen tables, now is the time to do it,” Murphy said. “This program will cut the cost for the most essential items needed for educational success and help make New Jersey more affordable for our students and families.” 

State Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D) said in the release that the tax holiday should lower the cost of school supplies for 2 million families with children in kindergarten through 12th grade, teachers and college students.

State Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D) said the average family spends up to $250 per child on school supplies and the average teacher spends about $600 on classroom supplies annually.  

“These are significant, yet necessary expenses for an important reason — ensuring students and teachers have what they need for a successful school year,” he said. “Prices are rising with inflation showing no signs of letting up. Now more than ever, it is critical to help families cut costs where they can.” 

State Senate Minority Leader Steven Oroho (R) said in a statement to The Hill that he does not believe the holiday will achieve “substantial relief” to families. He said Republicans in the state Senate have proposed $8 billion in tax relief in their budget plan, which includes $1,500 in immediate tax rebates.

“And do we really expect people to wait until the very last week to begin to prepare for the upcoming school year,” Oroho said. “Trenton Democrats have lost touch with reality.”

President Biden announced Wednesday that he is calling on Congress to pass a temporary federal tax suspension on gas and diesel fuel and is encouraging governors to do the same on state gas taxes.

Tags Biden New Jersey Phil Murphy Phil Murphy school supplies tax holiday

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