ALBANY — Small business owners are pleading with Gov. Andrew Cuomo for an extension on sales tax to help them survive.
The current state sales tax rate is 4 percent. In addition to similar taxes charged by municipalities, the local tax rate to be as high as 8.875 percent. Retailers making sales of taxable tangible property or services are required to register with the New York Tax Department before making taxable sales.
Since the state forced restaurants, bars and shopping malls closed, merchants have scrambled to keep their businesses afloat. With dining rooms closed, restaurants adapted to takeout service.
Jason Pierce, the owner of Savoy Taproom in Albany, is leading the local charge to seek economic relief for restaurants.
“In allowing restaurants to provide takeout food you’ve enabled them to maintain a portion of their workforce and even more importantly you’ve ensured that they can continue to provide food to those individuals that rely upon them to do so,” he stated in an online statement directed to the governor. He warned that without state help, the impact “will be abrupt.
“it will be profound and it will hurt already bleeding businesses, send thousands more to unemployment and potentially leave constituents across this state without the prepared food they need,” Pierce stated.
Businesses across the Capital District took a profound hit against expected business with the cancelation of Albany’s two annual St. Patrick’s Day parades and the NCAA basketball regional finals at the Times Union Center. All ordered food and spirits to accommodate a surge in business.
Pierce’s online plea was joined by scores of local business owners. Some expressed hope, as the topic of sales tax relief was discussed in the governor’s Thursday press conference.
New York collected more than $16 billion in sales tax, plus excise and user taxes in 2018-2019. Business owners are required to file sales tax by today, Thursday, March 20.
Michael Hallisey is managing editor of Spotlight Newspapers.
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