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June 10, 1999 

Senate votes to repeal trucking tax

The state Senate has voted to repeal the ton mileage tax, one of the priorities in The Business Council's 1999 tax reduction proposals.

"New York's ton mileage tax increases the costs to businesses throughout the state, particularly in upstate New York, that rely heavily on trucks to deliver products," Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno said. "Eliminating this tax would decrease those costs and help upstate businesses become more economically competitive."

Eliminating the ton mileage tax would provide gross savings of approximately $130 million to the trucking industry.

Business Council President Daniel B. Walsh hailed the move, saying repeal of the ton mileage tax "would help New York move its recovery into a much faster lane."

New York is one of only six states that impose the ton mileage tax. The closest state that imposes such a tax is Georgia. This means that New York's neighboring and competing states are significantly more attractive to businesses that operate or rely on trucks for transportation of raw materials and/or finished goods.

This tax affects not just the trucking industry. Any company that owns or operates trucks larger than pickup trucks must pay this tax, which is based on miles driven and the gross tonnage of the truck.

Paying this tax involves odious, time-consuming and costly paperwork even for taxpayers that owe relatively little. What's more, it is relatively easy (and common) for out-of-state companies to simply sidestep this tax. This further intensifies the competitive disadvantage faced by New York State companies that rely on trucking.