Governor Phil Murphy, Senate President Nicholas Scutari, and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin announced that they have reached an agreement on a back-to-school sales tax holiday as a part of the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget. The sales tax holiday will be historic for the State, building upon Governor Murphy’s promise to make New Jersey more affordable. The back-to-school sales tax holiday builds on the $2 billion ANCHOR Property Tax Relief Program announced last week and other affordability measures that the Governor 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,” said Governor Murphy. “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.”
The sales tax holiday will take place from August 27 to September 5. 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.
“This tax holiday for school products may not make kids look forward to school more, but it certainly will make parents happier when shopping for the goods they need to get their children in advance of the new school year,” said Senate President Scutari.
“Between school and art supplies, new electronics like a laptop or tablet, and sports equipment, getting kids prepared for the new academic year can weigh on a family’s wallet in a big way,” said Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. “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.”
“Preparing for a new school year is a stressful time for New Jersey families, mentally, emotionally and economically,” said Senator Vin Gopal. “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 Governor Murphy, Senate President Scutari and Speaker Coughlin for their vision and leadership on this issue.”
“The purpose of this legislation is to assist both families and teachers during the busy and potentially expensive back-to-school season. As we’ve seen a collective rise in inflation and the cost of living, it would be a preventative measure, to ensure that students are not left without the very essential school supplies they’ll need for the upcoming school year,” said Senator Fred Madden. “This proposed tax holiday will save parents and teachers funds that they should not have to compromise in order to provide for their children and students.”
“Every year, the average family spends upwards of $250 per child on school supplies alone and teachers spend around $600 of their own money on classroom supplies for their students. These are significant, yet necessary expenses for an important reason— ensuring students and teachers have what they need for a successful school year,” said Assemblyman Paul Moriarty. “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. A tax holiday right before school begins each year will be something parents and teachers can count on while back-to-school shopping.”