Assemblywoman Russell Starts Petition to Repeal Beer and Wine ‘Floor Tax’

New tax could add thousands to small business owners’ tax bills
May 27, 2009
Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell (D-Theresa) is circulating a petition with the aim of repealing a costly one-time “floor tax” imposed on wholesalers, retailers, restaurants and other store owners who sell beer and wine. The tax requires business owners to pay an additional 11 cents per gallon of wine and 3 cents per gallon of beer on their inventory stocked on May 1st and have only until July 20th to pay. This comes on top of a new increase in the state’s excise tax.

“This new floor tax will amount to thousands of dollars in extra taxes for small business owners. It will be unmanageable for many of them, especially in light of the increased excise tax,” Assemblywoman Russell said. “We need to do what we can to help, and not hurt, small businesses, especially during this economic crisis. Small businesses account for 80 percent of new jobs created in New York, and by imposing more taxes on them, we are crippling them and compromising our economic recovery efforts.”

“The effect of this new excise tax is that small businesses that sell wine and beer are being taxed twice on their inventories,” Assemblywoman Russell said. “According to local business owners, the floor tax has driven recent sales down, as much as 20 percent in some cases, because businesses are being forced to cut their inventories in order to be able to afford the floor tax. Unlike the excise tax, the floor tax must be paid to the state in one lump sum, forcing businesses to come up with hundreds or thousands of dollars on the spot – a difficult task for small businesses that already operate on tight budgets.”

“To revive New York’s economy, it is absolutely essential that we support small businesses,” Assemblywoman Russell said. “I am starting this petition to bring attention to and highlight just how unfair this new tax is for small businesses.”

Petitions are being circulated at local restaurants, breweries, wineries and liquor stores, and may be signed by customers on site. Those interested in making their voice heard on this subject may also sign the petition at one of Assemblywoman Russell’s two district offices: Dulles State Office Building, 317 Washington St., Suite 210, Watertown, NY 13601 or 70 Main St., Suite One, Canton, NY 13617. If you would like a petition mailed to you, please call (315) 786-0284 or write to russella@assembly.state.ny.us. The petition is also available on Assemblywoman Russell’s official website by clicking here.