Putnam County Executive Mary Ellen Odell reacts to failed tax-free shopping bill:
The back-to-school tax free holiday for Putnam County residents was squashed in the state Assembly after passing successfully through the Senate. The bill, S03878/A07607, would have authorized a county sales and use tax exemption for clothing and footwear during the period of Aug. 16-25, 2013.
“I am deeply disappointed that our NYS Assembly Representative Sandy Galef (D-Ossining) was unable to steer this economic measure through the Ways and Means Committee of the Assembly,” said Odell.
The bill, which was sponsored by Sen. Greg Ball (R-Patterson), was successful in the Senate passing unanimously with a 63-0 vote.
“I had hoped that Assemblywoman Galef, as a senior member of the majority, would have been able to get the support for our “Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday” home rule bill, as important as this one is to our local businesses, chambers of commerce and families,” Odell said. “What happened to bipartisan cooperation, especially in a situation such as this where we have unanimous support from our County Legislature, neighboring county executives, and the business communities?”
Putnam County Chambers of Commerce President Jennifer Maher was equally disappointed in the bill’s failure in the Assembly.
“While I am happy that the Senate was able to pass the bill, I am greatly disappointed that the Assembly has failed to act,” said Maher. “It would have been wonderful for small businesses across Putnam and also would have been a nice break for our taxpayers, especially those with school-age children. Still, I look forward to working with the County Executive on future tax-break initiatives.”
Lawmaker Barbara Scuccimarra (R-Philipstown) is Chairwoman of the Legislature’s Economic Development Committee. She was equally dissatisfied with the results in the Assembly.
“Back-to-school shopping is going to happen but without a tax break for our residents we can’t insure they will shop in Putnam. That’s not going to benefit our local merchants and businesses and that was the object of this bill,” Scuccimarra said.