Sales and use taxes are consumption taxes imposed at the U.S. state and/or local level on the purchase of taxable property or services. Whether an item or service is taxable depends on the laws of the state and local jurisdiction where the goods are delivered or the services are received. Sales tax rates can vary significantly by locality and can range from a few percent to upwards of 10%. Sales tax in Tompkins County, New York where Cornell’s Ithaca campus is based is 8% (4% State and 4% County); sales tax in New York City, New York where Cornell’s Weill Medical College and NY Tech Campus are located is 8.875% (4% State, 4.5% City, and 0.375% Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District surcharge).
Many states require nonprofit institutions like Cornell to collect and/or remit sales/use taxes.