The Coin Laundry Association (CLA) is committed to ensuring that all self-service laundries remain exempt from sales tax based on several fundamental principles of tax policy:
- Sales Tax on Self-Service Laundry Hurts Working Families: Self-service laundries serve low income renters; senior citizens on fixed incomes; students; and others who cannot afford washers and dryers of their own and cannot afford to pay more taxes. Imposing sales tax on self-service laundries is regressive. The median household income for a regular self-service laundry customer is $23,000 per year. (Laundry Customer Survey, CLA)
- Self-Service Laundry Provides a Basic Public Health Service and Must Remain Tax Exempt: Self-service laundries provide a basic public health service to the community. Clean clothes are a necessity, not an optional or luxury service. Those families visiting their local laundry each week rely on these services for the health and safety of their families.
- Sales Tax on Self-Service Laundry is Uncollectable: The removal of this exemption would result in a de facto gross receipts tax on laundry owners. Nearly every self-service laundry is equipped to accept payment by quarters only. This makes the collection of this type of tax nearly impossible.
- 42 of 45 Sales Tax States Exempt Self-Service Laundry from Sales Tax: Only three (3) states assess sales tax on self-service laundry. These states include: Hawaii, West Virginia and New Mexico. Repealing the exemption would place this state among the very small minority of states assessing this tax.
- Sales Tax on Self-Service Laundry Results in Tax Pyramiding: Operators of self-service laundries pay sales tax upon purchase of their equipment and pay taxes on all utilities provided to customers despite the fact that economists across the spectrum agree that business inputs should be exempt from such taxes. Those taxes are already embedded in the price of self-service laundry. Removing the exemption for the self-service laundry would result in a tax on top of already paid sales taxes.
- Sales Tax on Self-Service Laundry in Fundamentally Unfair: Regardless of the merits of generally imposing sales tax on services, there is no justification for imposing sales tax on the work people do for themselves. The coin laundry industry simply makes the equipment and utilities – which have already been taxed – available to their customers who provide the labor on a self-service basis. Those members of the community who can afford home laundry equipment do not pay sales tax to wash their clothes.
Coin Laundry Association (CLA) is a not-for-profit trade association representing the self-service laundry industry since 1960.
How You Can Help
If you wish to help CLA to continue our mission to advocate for the fair operation of self-service laundry businesses, you may donate by clicking the button below. Your contribution helps us to cover the costs necessary to have our voice and the voice of our members heard by the government officials who can make a difference in helping these companies to serve their neighborhoods with their indispensable services.