TRENTON, NJ — A recent attempt to remove sales taxes from limousines and health clubs failed, prompting a debate between lawmakers.
Sen. Paul Sarlo, D-Wood-Ridge, sought to remove the tax by attaching an amendment to a bill (S-2947) that would streamline and simplify the sales tax to conform to those in other states.
But the head of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, Sen. Bernard Kenny, D-Hoboken, who sponsored the bill, refused to allow the amendment.
He suggested Sarlo take up the issue in next year's budget discussions.
In retaliation, Sarlo voted against the bill. He said he was surprised to see four Republicans join him. Sen. Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, abstained, and the bill didn't pass.
"Enough is enough with the taxes on limousines," Sarlo said. "We need to start to be cognizant that the business climate in this state is getting difficult."
The sales tax was imposed on health clubs and limousine companies in June 2006 as part of an expansion of the tax to help close the state's budget gap. Limousine company owners say the tax puts them at a disadvantage with out-of-state limousine companies.