LBOA President Sergio Sanchez told members Monday that there are a lot of positive things happening with business picking up, but operators still face the challenge of getting the NY sales tax repealed.
NEW YORK — Limousine operators in New York must contend with an 8.75% tax on chauffeured service sales, spurring calls for new legislation to reverse it.
The effort is priority one for the Luxury Base Operators Association, the leading industry association representing operators in New York City. During a LBOA meeting Monday at the Limousine Digest Show in Atlantic City, N.J., president Sergio Sanchez told members once the state of New York realized the revenue loss from a proposed repeal, an earlier sales tax repeal measure did not go forward in the state legislature.
LBOA now is working to get multiple legislative sponsors, particularly among Democrats, for a new bill to go forward. Republicans so far have been more receptive to it, but they are far outnumbered by Democrats 109-42 in the New York State Assembly while Republicans have an ultra-thin operational majority in the State Senate. Sanchez urged members to meet with representatives and contact them for their support to repeal the tax.
During a Limousine Associations of New Jersey meeting the following morning, LBOA and LANJ general counsel Matt Daus said New York operators clearly were being overtaxed, and that the sales tax applies to some ground transportation sectors and not to others. Daus told LCT afterward that he is working with New York State Sen. Martin J. Golden (R) in introducing a sales tax measure repeal.
LBOA eventually hopes to emulate the legislative success of LANJ in getting the New Jersey legislature to repeal the 7% sales tax on limousine service in that state. But that bill is languishing on the desk of Gov. Chris Christie due to political maneuvering unrelated to the sales tax bill.
“We’re going to take a page out of the LANJ playbook,” Daus told New Jersey operators Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile, operators must contend with some of the highest ground transportation taxes in the U.S. The sales taxes in New York and New Jersey only apply to point-to-point (intrastate) transportation within each respective state, and not to interstate chauffeured runs that cross state lines between New York and New Jersey.
— Martin Romjue, LCT editor