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Department of Taxation and Finance

Top 10 Ways to Enjoy a Sales Tax-Free Summer NYS Tax Department: Plenty of fun-filled activities are sales tax-free

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Summer officially breezes in on June 20, and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance is reminding New Yorkers that some of the best warm-weather activities can be enjoyed free of sales tax.

10. Buy sales tax-free swimwear, sandals, hats, sunscreen, lip balm, prescription sunglasses, or a favorite magazine to browse on the beach.

9. Unwind at one of New York State’s 180 beautiful parks, from the boardwalk of Jones Beach in Long Island to the Cave of the Winds at Niagara Falls State Park.

• Bonus tip: New York’s Letchworth State Park and Watkins Glen State Park were named the nation’s best and the third best state parks, respectively, in a USA Today/10Best poll.

8. Visit your county fair for the exhibits, entertainment, and festivities.

7. Play a round of golf at one of New York State’s 28 golf courses, from Bethpage State Park on Long Island to the wide fairways of Beaver Island State Park on the Niagara River.

6. Bask in the rich heritage at New York’s historic sites or historical homes and gardens.

5. Create a backyard oasis with a new deck, sunroom, or swimming pool. These examples are considered capital improvements, which aren’t taxable.

4. Go on a NYS camping adventure. Buy some fishing waders or hiking boots for the occasion, and don’t forget marshmallows to toast around the campfire.

3. Fire up the grill. Most food bought to grill, hot dogs and hamburgers included, is exempt from sales tax. 

2. Sail away. Take a sailing or surf lesson, or get a bird’s-eye view of the scenery with a parasail ride—all free of sales tax charges.

1. Enjoy dramatic or musical arts performances, or head to the air-conditioned multiplex for the latest movie blockbuster.

Related information:

NYS Parks

Explore NY!

Discover New York’s Nature

The Official Guide to NYS Historic Sites & State Historic Parks

2016 Camping Guide

Guidance about products or services

Quick Reference Guide for Taxable and Exempt Property and Services