SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara has introduced new legislation that would repeal the state’s 4% sales tax on bottled water. The bill would eliminate the sales tax on bottled water by reclassifying it among other essential grocery items.

According to officials, New York is one of only four states that taxes bottled water at a higher rate than other
essential food and drinks, like bread and milk. This legislation will help New Yorkers offset some portion of those costs, which are essential grocery items that are exempt from sales tax under the following criteria:

  • Sold for human consumption
  • Sold unheated
  • Sold in the same form and condition, quantities, and packaging as is commonly
  • used by retail food stores

Assemblyman Santabarbara noted that while a New York State Tax Bulletin ST-525 lists tax-exempt junk food items like donuts, cookies, popcorn, potato chips, and even the candy “Fruit Rollups,” bottled water is not considered an essential beverage item.

“Water is the most essential grocery item and should not be taxed,” Santabarbara said.

Additionally, this bill will bring New York on par with 33 other states in the country, which do not tax bottled water. This bill will not affect the five-cent bottle deposit paid by consumers to encourage recycling.