N.Y. makes diapers fully tax exempt

Local students donate diapers during a drive in 2016 in Watertown. A new state law will exempt diapers from all local sales and use taxes in New York. Watertown Daily Times

ALBANY — Caring for infants and older adults just got a little easier on the wallet in the Empire State.

Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul held a ceremonial signing Monday for a new law exempting diapers from all local sales and use taxes in New York as she touted a $70 million influx of federal funds for child care.

Diapers, already exempt from the state’s 4% sales tax, will no longer be subject to local taxes when the law goes into effect next year.

“Diapers are often the largest expense for parents and caretakers across the state,” said bill sponsor Sen. Jamaal Bailey, D- Bronx. “Today’s investment is a huge step in the right direction and will help families in the Bronx and across New York state afford their essential child care needs.”

The measure applies to children’s and adult diapers, including disposable and cloth varieties.

Hochul, who recently became a grandmother, applauded the new law during an appearance at the YM&YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood in Manhattan.

“These are ways we are really thinking of what it is like to be a parent today, and any way we can lift that financial burden is a good thing,” the governor said.

Noting that roughly 2 million women have left the workforce since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hochul also announced that the state has doled out $70 million in federal grant funding for child care providers.

The money, which will go to 344 newly licensed or opened providers, is intended to create more than 12,000 new slots across the state. More than 60% of census tracts in the state are considered to be child care deserts, lacking enough open spots to serve residents.

According to the governor’s office, more than $16 million will go to roughly 70 providers in the city’s five boroughs to help boost the number of child care slots for infants and toddlers and to help fund care during non-traditional hours.

“Our essential workers have to work in health care settings around the clock, they are cleaning our hotel rooms and our restaurants. They’re driving buses, they’re out there making this city and state run,” Hochul said noting the importance of child care for people working night shifts or other hours.

The governor, who often talks of her personal struggles balancing a career and having to give up work as a young mother, also lamented the overall cost of child care and noted that a typical New York family has to spend 40% of their income on care for two kids.

In the most recent state budget, Hochul and the Democratic-led legislature agreed to boost funding for child care subsidies and made more families eligible but fell short of implementing a universal child care program.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(1) comment

HotelMike

NYS truly is the leader when it comes to welfare.

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