New Jersey will offer school supply tax holiday at start of new school year
Schools are letting out for the summer, but there was a bit of good news for parents when the new school year comes around in a few months.
New Jersey lawmakers announced a sales tax holiday on pencils, notebooks and other educational items. But will it be enough to help New Jersey families battle inflation and high gas prices?
“As inflation…is a central worry around all of our state's kitchen tables, now is the time to do it,” Gov. Phil Murphy said.
From Aug. 27 until Sept. 5, back-to-school supplies will see a discount of 7 cents per dollar. It is part of an agreement between the governor and two Democrats in charge of the state Senate and state Assembly. It is being funded by the state’s record-budget surplus.
“This is something we have the money to do and this is giving the money back to taxpayers once again,” says state Senate President Nick Scutari. “This is the legislative direct attack on inflation.”
Last time the three major Democratic leaders gathered, it was to announce up to $1,500 credit on property tax bills. The governor's office says that the average family spends upwards of $250 per year per child on school supplies. This program would save a family of two kids $35.
“And that’s money back in the family’s pocket. Money that they can spend,” says state Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin.
State Republicans called the move pathetic. Progressive group New Jersey Policy Perspective called the sales tax holiday a "gimmick."
But Murphy said it is, “meaningful relief, which is what our folks need right now in this state.”
The governor says the sales tax holiday will cost the state about $75 million, but that this is just a fraction of the $8 billion budget surplus this year.
Murphy says 16 other states already waive sales tax on back-to-school items.