NEW YORK — The exemption of buses from the New York state budget’s “transportation services tax” provision remaining applicable to livery services speaks volumes about the recognition of buses as part of the transportation solution and should serve as a model for other states to emulate, the American Bus Association said recently.
New York Gov. David Paterson’s (D) budget, approved with “revenue bills” including the “transportation services tax,” had originally listed motorcoaches in its list of vehicles to which the tax would apply. Exemption of motorcoaches in the final bill is the function of recognition by state lawmakers that motorcoaches are critical to mobility.
“ABA thanks New York state legislative leaders for their willingness to listen to our perspective, and they deserve to be commended for recognizing that motorcoaches are part of the solution to revitalizing tourism in the state — as well as an answer to mitigating congestion, saving energy, and promoting green travel,” said ABA President & CEO Peter J. Pantuso, CTIS. “By exempting coaches from its ‘transportation services tax,’ New York has become as a model for other states.”
Through the work of several State Senators and Assembly Members, as well as New York-based operators and tourism and travel partners working with ABA, the final budget exempted motorcoaches from the tax.
"The last thing we should be doing right now is taxing the small businesses that comprise the motorcoach industry as well as the millions of New Yorkers, both tourists and residents, who regularly use these vehicles," said Sen. Carl Kruger (D-Brooklyn). “The motorcoach, travel and tour industry is responsible for bringing tens of millions of visitors to New York each year,” said Sen. William T. Stachowski (D-C, Lakeview).
ABA spent more than a year to elevate awareness among lawmakers of the important role the motorcoach, tour, and travel industries play in contributing to Empire State tourism revenue. Through meetings, grassroots mobilizing, dissemination of collateral background material and working with state operators and attractions, ABA was able to show the value bus travel brings to New York.
Source: American Bus Association