ALBANY, NY -- New York's operators were dealt a blow this week when a bill seeking to raise the state's tax exemption on vended food and beverages failed to make it past the State Assembly's Ways and Means Committee.
Mike Esposito of Prestige Services (Clifton Park NY) said despite strong support of the bill (A7679) in both the Senate and the Assembly -- thanks to the association's success at gaining sponsors -- it had to pass the Ways and Means committee before legislators could vote. Esposito is president New York State Automatic Vending Association.
"We asked all of our members to contact their local assembly representatives who were on the Ways and Means committee to ask for their support on this bill," said Esposito, in a letter to association members. He added that the association was told by lawmakers that any bill resulting in a loss in revenue to the state appearing before the committee was unlikely to pass through to the assembly floor for a vote.
The proposed legislation, originated by the vending association, sought to change the sales tax exemption for food and beverages sold through vending machines to $1.50 from the current 75¢. The savings from the higher exemption would have amounted to $35,000 for every $1 million in business, NYSAVA estimated.
Esposito said the association's lobbyist would continue to actively pursue support for the bill and getting it on the agenda for next year's budget.
"Although this is a setback, I would like to thank [lobbyists] Joe Rossi and Ryan Moses for the tremendous job they have done for our association in getting the bill sponsored in the first place, especially in the short amount of time that they have represented us," the NYSAVA president said. He also acknowledged the operators who came to Albany on many occasions to meet with senators and assemblymen in seeking their support.
Esposito is urging New York's vendors and suppliers to join NYSAVA and continue to campaign for the tax exemption. "We need everyone to join in this effort to keep asking assemblymen and senators to sponsor this bill," he said. "If possible, please try to make any donations you possibly can to their campaigns. Once again, I can't stress enough the importance of our PAC fund. We desperately need your donations to help in our efforts."
The association will hold its annual golf outing on Sept. 2 at the Green Lakes State Park in Syracuse, NY, which is the biggest fundraiser for its PAC fund. Registration costs $150 and includes green fees, cart, lunch and dinner. Visit nysava.org or call Esposito at (518) 877-7426.