New Jersey may soon be the first state in the U.S. to offer a sales tax exemption for certain green building products. Bill S-1778, introduced by state senator Bill Baroni (R- Mercer/Middlesex) would provide consumers with an exemption from New Jersey’s seven (7) percent sales tax for EnergyStar-rated residential appliances, including refrigerators, ceiling fans, and fluorescent light bulbs. Although other states- including Vermont- have offered similar temporary green product sales tax exemptions, the New Jersey legislation would be the first to go permanently on a state’s books.
The program would be called “Buy Green, Save Green,” and the bill is also being sponsored by Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, a Democrat from Camden. However, some businesses in southern New Jersey are concerned about the bill’s potential impact on Urban Enterprise Zones, where the state sales tax is only 3.5 percent, as many businesses tout their UEZ locations in promotional materials.
Still, Baroni believes that the bill would bring increased out-of-state sales, create more retail jobs, and ultimately higher corporate taxes. Governor Corzine’s office has yet to review or comment on the proposed legislation.