ALBANY -- The New York State Automatic Vending Association has drafted a letter that operators can email to their legislators to ask for their support of two bills currently under consideration that would increase the state sales tax exemption for vending.
The bills -- sponsored by William Magee in the Assembly (A.7679a) and David Valesky in the Senate (S.4280a) -- propose to amend the New York state tax law to exempt food and beverages sold through vending machines at prices $1 or less. Vended food and beverage items priced at 75¢ or less are currently exempt.
In 2000, the state Legislature exempted food and beverage items sold in vending machines for 75¢ or less from state sales tax to help the vending machine industry remain competitive with over-the-counter sales. NYSAVA is making the case to legislators that there are few items sold in vending machines that cost 75¢ or less and that increased product costs combined with skyrocketing operating expenses have made the value of the 75¢ exemption minimal.
By increasing the sales tax exemption to $1, NYSAVA's letter emphasizes, the industry can ensure that consumers continue to enjoy access to a wider range of products through the convenience of vending machines. The tax break would also help the industry preserve jobs.
Members of NYSAVA's board of directors met last week with Senate Democratic Majority Conference Leader John Sampson to voice their opposition to Gov. David Paterson's proposed soda tax, and to ask for his support in raising the exemption. They also asked the senator to help defeat a separate proposal to repeal the existing vending exemption altogether.
"We came out of the meeting with some very positive feedback about the soda tax," reported NYSAVA president Mike Esposito, Prestige Services (Clifton Park, NY). "And they also mentioned that Sen. Valesky (D-Oneida) has repeatedly opposed the repeal of the current tax exemption, and that he has gathered enough support, that they would not repeal the tax and we actually made a good case to increase it to $1."
New York operators can access the letter here and enter their ZIP code to identify their state elected officials.