Regulations

State Senator Wants To End Bus-Trip Tax To Help Tourism

Posted on April 7, 2009 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

TRENTON, N.J. — When Gwen Elmore books trips with her Virginia Beach, Va., bus company, she has to consider if it's worth it to travel to New Jersey, where her travel is taxed, versus other states, where it is not.

Elmore and about 40 others in the travel and tourism industry throughout the state and region were on hand Friday afternoon as state Sen. Jeff Van Drew rallied support for a bill he is sponsoring that would repeal corporate business taxes on out-of-state bus companies.

New Jersey's perilous fiscal shape as it tries to pass a $29.8 billion budget makes it unlikely state lawmakers would vote to repeal a tax.

But if it rolls back the corporation business tax, Van Drew, D-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic, said tourism would grow and other taxes would make up the difference.

United Motorcoach Association President Victor S. Parra said a busload of tourists spends between $8,000 and $12,000 per day.

Van Drew said he does not know how much the tax raises, and the online version of the bill does not include a fiscal note. He filed the bill in October, and Assemblymen John J. Burzichelli, D-Cumberland, Salem, Gloucester, and Matthew W. Milam and Nelson T. Albano, both D-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic, sponsored it in the Assembly. It has not gotten a vote in either house.

Van Drew and others pointed to figures that show Atlantic City bus visits have declined more than 40% since the tax was imposed in 2001.

The latest available figures from the New Jersey Center for Hospitality and Tourism Research show 5,909 buses arrived in Atlantic City in 2007, the fewest since 1980.

Resort bus trips peaked at 14,929 in 1988, through the combination of novelty, the resort's former status as the East Coast's only gambling destination. and casinos seeking out the day-tripper market. Figures have varied since, but Van Drew and others said the tax is to blame for the 38.5% drop since 2001's 7,986 bus trips.

The tax requires charter bus companies to pay taxes on the percentage of their travels inside the state, or at least $1,000 per year. Elmore said she did not know how much her company paid but said she thought it cost more for accountants to compute the debt than it did to pay it.

Earlier in the day, other lawmakers told arts and tourism groups gathered for a legislative panel discussion on the third day of the Governor's Conference on Tourism that the current fiscal picture makes it unlikely the state will increase its tourism marketing budget.

Tourism groups are howling that the state proposed to spend $7.5 million on promotion, $2.5 million less than last year and below the $9 million threshold other legislation says is needed to continue to collect an $85 million tax on hotels and motels.

Beach replenishment funding, projected at $18.75 million, or less than the $25 million minimum required to collect a $234 million Realty Transfer Tax, is drawing similar ire. Gov. Jon S. Corzine's administration has said it can ignore the funding minimums as unconstitutional.

"I'd love to sit here and say tourism won't be cut, beach replenishment won't be cut," Sen. Jim Whelan, D-Atlantic, said, but the $7 billion gap between current state revenue and inflationary increases from last year's state budget prohibit it.

Source: www.pressofatlanticcity.com

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

European Court May Derail Uber

Recommendation to classify the TNC a transportation company rather than digital platform could stifle growth.

Florida Governor Signs Landmark TNC Legislation

The new law requires $1 million in insurance coverage when transporting a passenger and third party driver background checks.

Philly Operators Maintain Opposition To Vehicle Fee

Despite the assessment being reduced from $856 to $500, operators argue the cost is still burdesome.

ABA Members Lobby Congress During Annual Fly-In Event

Motorcoach operators from around the country convened May 3-4 to talk priority issues.

Justice Department Opens Criminal Probe Into Uber

The investigation is in its early stages, but deepens the crisis for the embattled company and its CEO Travis Kalanick.

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment

Submit

Blog

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - May 2017 $12.95 Post International LCT Show Issue COVER STORY: * Best Operators of 2017: Their Winning Secrets Revealed * *



Connect

Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close