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Legislative Memo

Ken Pokalsky
Vice President of Government Affairs
T 518.465.7517 x205
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

SFY 2009-10 Executive Budget
Part SS/Subpart A - Article VII
(A.160-A / S.60-A)

Support

SUBJECT:

Sales Tax Data Matching Program

 

DATE:

March 24, 2009

 

The Business Council is asking the Governor and Legislature to REJECT Part SS/Subpart A – Article VII (A.160 / S.60) that would impose a new and costly mandate to require banks and other financial institutions to report annually the gross amount of activity on all accounts for registered sales tax vendors. 

Once again, New York State ranks at the bottom for doing business.  According to Chief Executive Magazine's 2009 “Best and Worst States” survey New York ranks 50th for business growth and jobs.  States were graded based on the following criteria: 1) Taxation & Regulation, 2) Workforce Quality, and 3) Living Environment. 

The provisions of Part SS/Subpart A – Article VII are reflective of the over taxation and regulation that plagues New York's ability to encourage business growth and jobs.  Creating additional “gotcha” regulations for sales tax collection assumes that every registered sales tax vendor is cheating New York State. 

This proposal is damaging to the struggling banking industry because of the enormous costs and an unmanageable time frame to retroactively implement this deeply flawed data matching program.  It would require banks to have a functioning system that would retroactively match data from January 2009 and require a full reporting by January 31, 2010. Most banks have highly complicated systems to track and ensure the privacy of multiple customer accounts.  Under the provisions of this bill, these secure systems would require reprogramming without the proper liability and privacy protections.  The cost and short time frame required to comply with Part SS/Subpart A - Article VII is excessive and prohibitive. 

The Business Council does not condone the evasion of sales tax collections but assuming malfeasance on retailers and forcing a new regulatory scheme on the financial services industry will help to solidify New York's ranking as one of worst places to do business.  Therefore, we are asking the Governor and Legislature to reject Part SS/Subpart A - Article VII Budget Bill (A.160-A / S.60-A).