No more taxes.
That was the message conveyed by Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis and State Senator Marty Golden who held a press conference to discuss their opposition to a possible internet sales tax within the state on Thursday, March 1, outside Golden’s office, 7408 Fifth Avenue.
According to Malliotakis and Golden, the bill would require online providers with distribution centers in New York and at least $100 million in sales nationwide to collect state and local taxes on purchases by New York residents.
“Governor Cuomo wants to implement a sales tax on internet purchases on items that were sold through online marketplaces such as Ebay and Amazon, and we are here today to speak against that proposal for a number of reasons,” Malliotakis said. “We feel that this is another cash grab by the state of New York looking to nickel and dime our residents.”
She added that the tax would discourage companies from investing in the state because it would apply only to companies with physical locations in New York.
“For example, Amazon is looking to make big investments in our city,” Malliotakis said. “That’s going to prevent them from actually wanting to come to New York State and make investments because now they’re going to be served with the task of being tax collectors for the state of New York, so we think this proposal is misguided for those reasons.”
She claims the tax would nickel and dime the residents of the state to the tune of $80 million the first year and $150 or more the following year, as well as cost New Yorkers potential jobs as companies shy away from setting up shop in the state.
In addition, “They want the Department of Tax and Finance to be allowed to require these companies to provide a list of all New York residents that have made purchases using their online marketplace,” she said, contending that there is a Big Brother element to it. “That is an overreach and is offensive to the people of the state.”
“New York State needs to keep its sticky fingers out of the digital cookie jar,” Golden added. “The digital marketplace has revolutionized how we buy and sell products. The popularity and success of internet shopping has made Cyber [Monday] the largest shopping day of the year.
“Placing a tax on items sold in the digital marketplace will have an adverse impact on consumers and businesses,” Golden continued. “The new tax will force companies to create burdensome notification and recording systems. It will have these companies make new decisions as to where they want to do business, and we want them to do business in the state of New York. We need these companies.”
Malliotakis referenced other states attempting to implement similar legislation.
“A number of states like Tennessee, Massachusetts, Maine, Wyoming and Indiana have all done what the governor is trying to do and they’ve opened themselves up to a floodgate of litigation and one of the cases is going to be heard in the Supreme Court,” she said. “It is presumptuous of the governor to do this without knowing what the outcome of that court case is.”
“We should refrain from any proposed internet tax until a decision is made by the Supreme Court,” he contended.
The two fear that the tax would take away both economic and job growth.
“This tax will send a message that digital companies that New York is closed for business,” said Golden. “We don’t want to send that message.”