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Politics & Government

Committee considering ending sales tax on clothing

A state Senate committee is looking at a bill to eliminate the sales tax on clothing purchased in North Dakota.

"The bill would provide tax relief for all North Dakotans, regardless of their financial ability, or prominence in society," said the bill's sponsor, Sen. George Sinner (D-Fargo). "Every single person in North Dakota is required, by law, to wear clothing."

Sinner told the Senate Finance and Taxation Committee – because Minnesota and Montana do not tax clothing, many shoppers leave the state to buy those items.

Mike Rud of the North Dakota Retail Association says Minnesota is now considering proposals to add sales tax to clothing purchases.

"We think this woukd open up the borders to more shoppers," said Rud. "We think we should strike while the iron is hot."

The North Dakota League of Cities opposes the measure. League spokesman Keith Magnusson says although the bill provides about $10 million a year to cities that collect a local sales tax – and have to exempt clothing – it’s only an estimate.

"We really don't know how much clothing is going to be sold in the cities of this state in the next biennium," said Magnusson.

The committee chairman – Sen. Dwight Cook (R-Mandan) – says his committee won’t take action on the bill until some of the other tax relief bills are heard in his committee.

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