U.S. Mint’s Alternative Metals Research & Development Project
The Coin Laundry Association’s Legislative Committee, chaired by Michael Finkelstein, has kept an open line of communication with contacts at the U.S. Mint to monitor progress on a number of issues of interest to CLA members. The latest reports indicate there is little momentum behind making any changes to the composition to the U.S. quarter. There also has been no progress on policy related to the minting of the dollar coin. However, the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing is expected to take action on the redesign of the $10 bill in 2018.
Sales Tax Exemptions for Self-Service Laundries
Although spring 2016 was one of the busiest on record with regard to the number of states entertaining the possibility of removing sales tax exemptions (including those for self-service laundry), the second half of the year has remained very quiet on that front.
However, the Coin Laundry Association anticipates a fresh slew of states pursuing the wholesale removal of the sales tax exemption during the post-election spring 2017 legislative sessions. Among the states in play during 2016 have been: Pennsylvania, Illinois, California, Louisiana, North Carolina, Kentucky, Connecticut, Missouri, Indiana, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Arizona and Alabama.
City of Chicago Water Tax (30%)
Mayor Rahm Emmanuel introduced a proposal to initiate a 30% tax on water for the city of Chicago earlier this year. As a result, Illinois Coin Laundry Association President Paul Hansen and the ILCLA mounted a significant opposition to this proposal. These efforts included letters to the major newspapers serving the Chicago area; appearances by Mr. Hansen on multiple television and radio outlets; petitions and postcards circulated among laundromat customers and their aldermen; live testimony at city council meetings and more.
The Coin Laundry Association staff assisted in disseminating information on this issue – designing in-store collateral for display in Chicago laundromats and helping to develop a Chicago Tribune editorial that advocated on behalf of the tax exemption for self-service laundries.
Ultimately, the city council passed this tax by a significant margin; however, discussions have continued regarding a possible exemption – or at least possibly applying a senior citizen discount, which would cut the tax by 50%. Currently, the ILCLA is raising money to support the engagement of a lobbyist to secure the reduced tax rate for self-service laundries in Chicago.
NYC CLEAN Act
The New York City council passed the CLEAN Act this fall, which placed a number of new requirements on those seeking to secure or renew business licenses for commercial laundries and cleaners.
The Coin Laundry Association staff coordinated with the Textile Rental Service Association’s legislative team to monitor progress with the new law. Ultimately, the CLEAN Act didn’t place any new requirements on self-service laundries beyond what had already been required for a laundromat license.
Washington State JLARC Review of Sales Tax Exemptions
Several years after successfully lobbying for the sales tax exemption for self-service laundries, the Washington State Coin Laundry Association had to respond to a renewed threat to the exemption in 2016. The state’s legislature tasked its joint legislative committee with reviewing hundreds of sales tax exemptions to verify that each exemption was still justified.
Despite this being planned as a multi-year project, the review of the sales tax exemption for self-service laundry came up during the task force’s first session. With a great effort by WSCLA President Craig Wells, the local association was able to successfully make the case that laundries ought to retain their exemption. The initial committee report includes a recommendation to leave the laundry exemption intact. It is expected that the state legislature will follow this recommendation.
Legislative Response Brief: Sales Tax & Self-Service Laundries
Protecting the sales tax exemption for self-service laundries has been the Coin Laundry Association’s top legislative advocacy priority for decades. Although the industry has faced few significant legislative or regulatory challenges over the years, sales tax remains an issue of great concern to all segments of the business.
The CLA and its affiliates have a successful track record for both reversing existing sales tax statutes and protecting existing exemptions from negative legislative action. Take action now and help spearhead a grassroots effort by donating today to stop laundry tax. Together, we can keep the laundry industry fair and profitable for all. Donate today to help stop laundry tax. Click here to learn more about the Stop Laundry Tax mission. Your donation can make a difference.