Bill Would Make Cribs, Bottles, Strollers, Other Baby Essentials Tax-Free

New Jersey Assemblywoman Bethanne McCarthy Patrick has proposed a bill that could provide relief for residents who are struggling to cope with the rising cost of living in New Jersey. The bill seeks to exempt certain baby and pet supplies from the state’s sales tax.

“The only permanent way to make New Jersey more affordable is to cut taxes. Lowering the price of baby and pet essentials by exempting them from the state sales tax is a step in the right direction, and acknowledges that there are certain basic costs that come with raising a family here,” McCarthy Patrick said.

“A baby adds more than $26,000 to a family’s budget and a dog can increase costs by about $1,400 annually. Parents and pet owners deserve a break on purchases that feed and protect their families,” she added. “Savings on the sales tax can really add up on large purchases like car seats, which moms and dads are required to buy multiple times in their child’s lifetime.”

While New Jersey exempted diapers and baby formula from the state sales tax nearly 40 years ago, car seats, bottles, cribs and strollers are all subject to the 6.625% tax. The state also imposes the sales tax on all pet supplies including food and medications.

According to a study from Legal Services of New Jersey, almost one-third of residents in the state lack the financial resources to afford basic necessities due to the high cost of living. In order to live without support, families in New Jersey need to make 300% more than the federal poverty level. Essentially, a family of four earning less than $90,000 per year is considered to be living in poverty in New Jersey.

Under McCarthy Patrick’s bills, baby cribs, car seats, nursing bottles and strollers (A5453), as well as pet food and medication would be exempt from sales tax.

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