Limo tax repeal bill may see life again when NY State Legislature ramps up again in January 2014.
ALBANY, N.Y. — Last week the New York State legislature wrapped up for the year, leaving bills calling for the repeal of sales tax on limo service stalled in committee. However, operators there remain optimistic as both bills still have a shot of seeing a vote when the next legislative session begins in January 2014.
“In a little over a month, we as an industry were able to push these bills into a very strong position,” said David Bastian of Towne Livery in Orchard Park, N.Y., and a member of the Limousine Bus Taxi Operators of Upstate New York (LBTOUNY) legislative committee. “Both of these bills are very much alive — they were not tabled or dismissed. We just ran out of time.”
Bastian recognized the immense effort put forth by supporters of the repeal in the form of news stories, Tweets, Facebook posts, phone calls, letters, and emails. Bastian was also instrumental in coordinating the interests of LBTOUNY members with those of the Black Car Assistance Corporation (BCAC). A website, United New York, and Facebook page were set up to synchronize limo and black car industry efforts. Through the webpage, operators can send pre-written emails to any Assembly or Senate members.
If successful, Senate Bill S.4920 and NY Assembly Bill A.7724 would remove the current sales tax on limos service, which varies by county. In New York City, for example, the sales tax is 8.85%.
Bastian encourages New York operators to keep active in coming months and stop by the offices of local representatives to discuss the tax repeal. “The industry needs to stay up on the issue and make sure legislators know our message. Let them know how this law has affected your business and ask them to support the bills to help us get them out of the committees in which they reside.”
The legislative session starting in the New Year is especially promising, said Bastian, because that’s when budgets are set for the upcoming year. Trying to get a mid-year repeal was a particularly uphill battle.
A monthly conference call will be held starting in August so that operators and their respective associations can maintain communication and coordinate on strategy.
On July 24, Towne Livery will be hosting the next LBTOUNY meeting at Coca Cola Field in Buffalo, N.Y. The event will include a networking session, association meeting, and a Triple-A baseball game between the Buffalo Bisons and the Columbus Clippers.
Twitter hash tag: #PasstheSalesTaxRepeal.
— Denis Wilson, LCT East Coast Editor