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Gov. Murphy announces back-to-school sales tax break

Gov. Phil Murphy, state Senate President Nicholas Scutari and state Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin announced they have reached an agreement on a back-to-school sales tax holiday as a part of New Jersey’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget.

According to a press release from Murphy’s office, the sales tax holiday will be historic for the state. The back-to-school sales tax holiday builds on the $2 billion ANCHOR property tax relief program announced two weeks ago and other affordability measures Murphy expects to see in the enacted budget.

“Today we take another monumental step forward on my Administration’s commitment to make New Jersey a stronger, fairer and more affordable state for our residents,” Murphy was quoted as saying in the press release.

“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. 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,” Murphy said.

The sales tax holiday will take place from Aug. 27 to Sept. 5, according to the press release.

Under the sales tax holiday, tax exempt supplies and equipment include: (1) school supplies, such as pens and pencils, notebooks and binders; (2) school art supplies, such as paints and paintbrushes, clay and glazes; (3) school instructional materials, such as reference books, reference maps, globes, textbooks and workbooks; (4) computers; and (5) school computer supplies, such as computer storage equipment, printers and personal digital assistants.

“Between school and art supplies, new electronics like a laptop or a tablet, and sports equipment, getting kids prepared for the new academic year can weigh on a family’s wallet in a big way,” said Coughlin (D-Middlesex).

“Our back-to-school holiday lowers the price tag of school items for the up to two million New Jersey families with children in a K-12 school, for our teachers, and for our college students.

“Combined with $2 billion property tax relief under ANCHOR, it furthers the commitment to deliver on our promise of enacting the largest tax relief program in our state’s history,” Coughlin said.

State Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Monmouth) said, “Preparing for a new school year is a stressful time for New Jersey families mentally, emotionally and economically.

“By implementing this sales tax holiday in the weeks before the first bell rings, we will be offering families a measure of relief from those stresses, by helping them to fill their kids’ back-to-school lists without breaking their household budgets.

“I thank Gov. Murphy, Senate President Scutari and Speaker Coughlin for their vision and leadership on this issue,” Gopal said.

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