As of March 2012, the statewide sales tax in New Jersey is 7 percent. This tax is known officially as the Sales and Use Tax. It applies to most sales of non-food goods and services conducted within state boundaries.
There are a variety of sales tax exemptions in place for specific goods and services sold in the state. Unprepared food and food ingredients are not subject to sales tax, but restaurant meals and other prepared foods are taxed. In examples of exemption, New Jersey sales tax does not apply to clothing, textbooks, gasoline, newspapers, prescription drugs and most over-the-counter drugs, farm supplies, production machinery and equipment and real estate sales.