Because Albany is facing a $9.2 billion budget deficit (and is over 80 days on a budget), state leaders are now circling around reinstating the 4% sales tax for retail items under $110. The Times Union reports that two "state officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the proposal would indeed increase sales taxes on clothing, but that there would be tax-free periods such as the time before school starts in the fall and around the December holidays. Clothing and footwear that costs less than $110 became exempt from the state's 4 percent sales tax in 2007, although most counties and some cities tax the sales."
Crain's has more details. Basically, the tax exemption would be gone "for about six months, starting in the fall... Then, on April 1, 2011, the exemption would return for a year, but only for clothing items costing up to $55. The full $110 exemption would be brought back in April 2012, according to the source.... The exemption, which also covers footwear, spares shoppers from the state's 4% sales tax and from the 0.375% tax on purchases in the 12-county region served by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. It has been in effect since April 1, 2006. New York City's sales tax of 4.5% has been waived on clothing and footwear purchases under $110 since Sept. 1, 2005."
Here are the tax rates around the state; the NYC sales tax went up last year.