(R-L) David Bastian, Towne Livery, Kevin Barwell President of LBTOUNY and Giorgios Limo, and Mark Crisafulli, Haylor, Freyer & Coon, Inc
Members of the Limousine Bus Taxi Operators of Upstate New York (LBTOUNY) say they are in the home stretch of getting sales tax on limo service repealed in their home state and are calling for a final effort before the current legislative session closes on June 20.
“We have less than nine days to make this happen,” said David Bastian of Towne Livery and member of the LBTOUNY legislative committee. “It’s time to throw everything at this.”
Assembly Bill A7724 and Senate Bill S4920 are now in committee and need to be moved to the legislative floor in order to be voted on. Bastian, who’s been leading the charge for LBTOUNY, is imploring New York operators to call New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-65, and urge him to help move the bills out of committee.
“The big thing is we need everyone in New York to get on the phone with Silver, not to send emails, and ask him to take it to the floor for a vote,” Bastian said. (The number for Sheldon’s office is (518) 455-3791.
The sales tax varies depending on separate county add-ons. In New York City, for example, the sales tax is 8.85%.
Efforts up to this point have helped the industry get the attention of the Senate and Assembly, Bastian said. “If we don’t work the phones at this point, we may never get this opportunity again. Once this session ends, these bills can end. We have to play until the whistle blows and the whistle doesn’t blow until June 20.”
LBTOUNY has united with the Black Car Assistance Corporation (BCAC) to lobby legislators. On Tuesday, members of LBTOUNY and BCAC met with the offices of Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Sen. John A. DeFrancisco, D-50, and the chair of the Ways and Means Committee, Assemblyman Herman D. Farrell, Jr. D-71, to enlist their support.
BCAC COO Ira Goldstein said in an email to the black car industry that while he is confident the Senate bill will pass, the Assembly bill will be more difficult. He asked industry members to make phone calls to Silver, Farrell, as well as local Ways and Means Committee members. “We have never been closer to successfully repealing this tax,” Goldstein said. “We are on the cusp of saving our industry and its clients tens of millions of dollars and taking a huge step to leveling the playing field to ensure our businesses are able to grow and prosper.”
A website and Facebook page have been set up to coordinate limo and black car industry efforts on the tax repeal bills. Through the United New York webpage, which is hosted by Drive Profit, operators easily can send pre-written emails to any Assembly or Senate members.
Twitter hash tag: #PasstheSalesTaxRepeal.
Contact info for NYS Assembly Ways and Means Committee members: http://nybcac.org/news/bcac-news/.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver
Albany Office: (518) 455-3791
District Office (212) 312-1420
Assemblyman Herman Farrell, Jr.
Albany Office: (518) 455-5491
District Office: (212) 568-2828