New State Sales Tax on Clothes, Shoes

October 1, 2010 Updated Oct 1, 2010 at 5:41 PM EDT

By Laura Gray

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October 1, 2010 Updated Oct 1, 2010 at 5:41 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) -- Alexandra Ortiz is buying winter clothes for her two year old son. This year, "Not a lot," she tells us about how much she purchased, "and I spent a lot of money."
She's already feeling the sting of the 4 percent state sales tax that went into effect today. "Too high. I can't buy a lot of stuff because we're going to spend a lot of money."
Sticker shock at the register. "Tax after tax after tax. It just doesn't stop." Could send shoppers like Jennifer Burse over the border. "it's ridiculous. I'll have to take the three hour trip to Pennsylvania."
The four percent state tax applies to items under one hundred and ten dollars. The state tax is on top of the 4.75 percent county tax you're already paying. The tax will last until March 31, 2011. Then, starting April 1, 2011, clothing and footwear under $55 will be exempt from the 4 percent state sales tax. That ends March 31, 2012. "Given the economy right now I don't mind paying more taxes. I know we're in a crisis." says Alicia Brown of Tonawanda.
Eastern Hills Mall Marketing Manger Megan Wagner says shoppers will still spend, but how much they are willing dole out could change because of this new tax. "It's really unfortunate timing because local and national retailers are recovering, and I think this may set back consumer confidence again and take a step backwards rather than forward."
The state should make 330 million dollars this fiscal year by eliminating the tax exemption.
The state expects to bring in 210 million dollars for fiscal year of 2011-2012. The full exemption is scheduled to return on April 1, 2012.