New sales tax for dry cleaning services may hurt local businesses

Connecticut

ANSONIA, Conn. (WTNH)– Expect to pay more for dry cleaning services come January 1st! A new sales tax will be applied every time you drop off clothes.

For nearly a half century, Nick Dimaio has been running Mercury Cleaners on Capitol Avenue in Hartford with his dad, Mike. He’s been doing it alone now for four years.

“I’m just going to take this on until my time is due,” said Dimaio.

They’ve lost customers over the years.

“This is not a priority anymore. This is a luxury and it’s hurting them,” said Dimaio.

Nick fears dry cleaning will become even more of a luxury come January 1, when a 6.35 percent sales gets passed on to customers.

“First of all, they pay a sales tax when they purchase their clothes in retail. Now they have to pay this over and over again,” said Dimaio.

If you use a laundry mat to wash a dry your own clothes, this tax does not apply to you. But it will hit people who use wash-dry-and-fold services like at the Wash Tub on Farmington Avenue.

“It’s not a sales tax because we’re really not selling anything,” said Jake Battiston, Owner, The Wash Tub, Hartford.

Owner Jake Battiston says the tax is unfair and will be burdensome on wash services customers.

“Those people that wanted the convenience might want to just come in and start the machines themselves,” said Battiston.

It also means more back-end work for small businesses.

“This gets passed on to me because my accountant needs to do the work for me,” said Dimaio.

In an industry that has already seen many cleaners close their doors for good.

“Many of them did go under because of some of the environmental laws that are out there,” said Dimaio.

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