Marlton, N.J. — New Jersey limousine operators are driving a new effort to get the state sales tax removed from their services.
Limousine Associations of New Jersey is vigorously pushing a bill introduced Jan. 28 (A-1950) that would turn back Governor Corzine's 2006 imposition of sales tax on limousines and private health clubs.
The association says the tax, which is levied on any car service trip that takes place entirely within the state, has helped reduce the number of limousine companies in New Jersey from about 1,300 two years ago to 1,100 today.
One reason is that New Jersey companies lose business to those in neighboring states who should charge the tax, but don't, said Barry Lefkowitz, the association's executive director.
"You have Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware companies advertising that: 'We can do it for 7% less,' " he said, adding that New Jersey authorities don't have the resources to pursue out-of-state companies.
A similar effort to remove the tax failed in December, when state Sen. Bernard Kenny, D-Hoboken, who was then head of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, thwarted an effort to attach the tax removal language to an unrelated bill. He said at the time that Corzine opposed the repeal.
But Kenny has since left the Legislature, and the limousine industry is hoping that his successor at the head of the committee, state Sen. Barbara Buono, D-Middlesex, will prove more supportive.
Lefkowitz said he and other limousine industry leaders raised the issue with Corzine at a fund-raising event in North Jersey last month, and discussed the issue with Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri at an hour-long meeting last week.
The association is trying to pressure Corzine by having supporters attach language that would remove the tax on limousines to unrelated legislation that would streamline and simplify the way New Jersey charges sales tax in some circumstances.
That legislation — a non-controversial change that would merely bring New Jersey in line with other states — is backed by Corzine.
"What we have done is take his bill, that he needs, and added our language," Lefkowitz said.
SOURCE: North Jersey.com