If it's the end of January, it's tax-free shopping week. The 4.375% sales tax (NYC took out its 4% of the tax; this the state's cut) will be eliminated for clothes and shoes under $110 (sorry, expensive sneaker-philes - maybe you can get some nice socks, though) until February 5. The state sales tax law will be up in the spring, but Governor Pataki will probably renew it. Many NYC politicians would like the sales tax eliminated for good, as the tax hurts the middle class. Newsday says Pataki's plan will include two tax-free weeks for "items up to $250," which does sound better than nothing.

The tax exemption does not apply to jewelry, sunglasses, watches and wigs.