ICAHN FIRM IN DEAL FOR WESTPOINT STEVENS: WestPoint Stevens, the maker of Martha Stewart sheets and towels, is about to get a new owner: billionaire investor Carl Icahn. American Real Estate Holding Ltd., a company controlled by Icahn, agreed to buy the bankrupt West Point, Georgia-based company for $703 million at an auction held Friday, following a five-month bidding war with financier Wilbur L. Ross and a group of creditors.

TAXING MATTERS: New York City will be exempt from charging 4 percent sales tax beginning Sept. 1 on clothing and footwear, according to legislation passed by the New York State Senate and Assembly and agreed to by Gov. George E. Pataki. In 1998, the state provided a sales tax exemption for clothing and footwear costing less than $110 that became effective March 2000, and localities were given the choice of waiving local sales taxes. In 2003, the state and local sales tax exemption was repealed. However, the state has given two extensions to the exemption, the latest until March 31, 2007. The cost to the city in lost tax revenues is projected to be $184 million in 2006 and $166 million in 2007. However, Anthony P. Piscitelli, director of state legislative affairs, said, “Currently, clothing purchases are completely exempt from sales taxes in New Jersey, and in Connecticut purchases of clothing costing less than $50 are exempt. It is anticipated that the increased economic activity in the city produced by the clothing exemption will partially offset some of the costs resulting from the tax reduction.”

This story first appeared in the June 27, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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