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Assembly Passes Tully, Armato & Zwicker Bill Exempting Certain Small Businesses from Taxation of Winterization Costs During Pandemic

To help small businesses adapt their outdoor operations to winter weather during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Assembly Democrats Chris Tully, John Armato and Andrew Zwicker sponsor legislation that would exempt ‘winterizing’ costs from sales and use tax in New Jersey.

Under the bill (A-4958), businesses with fewer than 20 full-time employees would be permitted to submit an exemption application to the Division of Taxation in order to receive a refund for tax paid on products or services purchased in order to winterize their business. Such purchases could include tents, space heaters and products to remove snow or ice.

The sales and use tax exemption would only apply to those services/products purchased between September 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 – in recognition of the need to provide outdoor services in place of indoor services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Upon the legislation recently passing the full Assembly by a unanimous vote, Assembly sponsors Tully (D-Bergen, Passaic), Armato (D-Atlantic) and Zwicker (D-Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon) issued the following joint statement:

“Many small businesses had to move their operations outside this fall and winter to help protect against COVID-19, which spreads more easily indoors. However, winterizing a business costs money at a time when many companies have little funding to spare as a result of the economic challenges this pandemic has presented.

“In order to help these businesses keep employees and customers safe while reducing the cost of cold weather-related adaptations, this legislation will allow eligible businesses to be reimbursed for the sales and use tax for the products and services allowing them to operate outdoors.”

The bill now heads to the Senate.