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05/20/2003

Marshmallows Declared Food in New York

ALBANY, N.Y. - New York Governor George Pataki's administration has declared that big marshmallows are a food, and not candy, exempting them from the state sales tax.

Up until five years ago, big marshmallows, often roasted over a campfire, were considered candy and subject to sales tax. Mini-marshmallows, often used in hot chocolate, and jars of Marshmallow Fluff, on the other hand, were tax exempt because they were considered food. In 1998, the state Department of Taxation and Finance sought a more uniform treatment of all types of marshmallows and revised its tax laws to repeal the levy on large marshmallows.

But the issue continues to be debated every five years because an act passed by the state Legislature requires state agencies to review their regulations within that timeframe.