NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York’s Democratic governor on Thursday proposed imposing a $1 per square foot tax on all wood panelings, home furnishments, and other materials, to pay for road improvements to improve connectivity and reduce air pollution.
The proposal is the first step toward establishing a statewide tax on wood products, which would take effect in January.
The governor’s office said the tax would raise $6.5 million for New York City, the state’s largest municipality, which is grappling with the worst air pollution in decades.
The new tax would apply to a wide variety of wood products including carpeting, furniture, tables, countertops, cabinets, appliances, mattresses, bedding, and tile.
It would also apply to manufactured products like wood products.
It would be the first tax levied by New York, which has a one-time sales tax on manufactured wood products but has no sales tax for imported wood products such as furniture.
New York has already introduced similar measures in the past, including a $5.50 per square-foot tax on furniture and a $3.50 fee on furniture, according to the governor’s website.
The bill also includes a $25 fee for new wood products and a 10-cent per square cent excise tax on imported wood.
The plan was one of several introduced by Democrats in New York State over the past few months as the state struggles with air quality, particularly the worsening smog that is affecting businesses and homes.