NY E-Fairness: Budget Deadline Passes, Negotiations Continue

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At press time, the April 1 deadline for the New York State budget had come and gone, and it was still unclear when Gov. David Paterson and the New York legislature would reach a final agreement. News accounts from Albany indicate that the Internet Sales Tax provision remains in the proposed budget; however, with negotiations still ongoing, no provision is guaranteed inclusion in the final document. As such, the American Booksellers Association is continuing its lobbying efforts on behalf of the Internet Sales Tax provision's inclusion.

In a mid-week e-mail to member bookstores in New York, ABA COO Oren Teicher thanked booksellers for their hard work in the campaign for e-fairness and urged them to continue their efforts until the final whistle blows. "A cardinal rule in the New York State legislature is that nothing is certain until the gavel comes down after the final vote," he wrote. "So, if you have not contacted your state assembly member or senator to encourage them to keep the Internet Sales Tax provision in the final budget, it's still an important step you can take to help move us further to victory on this issue."

As soon as the budget is finalized, BTW will flash out the news. In the meantime, all New York booksellers are urged to contact their state representatives. ABA has created a templated, suggested e-mail letter to the assembly member, which thanks him or her for keeping the executive budget intact and urges a firm stand on keeping the Internet Sales Tax proposal in the final budget. The e-mail letter to a bookseller's state senator urges him or her to reinstate the Internet Sales Tax provision.

Booksellers who have already written to their legislators are being asked to write again. Booksellers can find their assembly member here and find their senator here. ABA also asks booksellers to send copies of their letters to ABA Public Policy Liaison Dave Grogan at dave@bookweb.org.