Rep. Walczyk calls on governor to waive excise tax on small businesses that helped during COVID-19 crisis
Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 6:03 am

Assemblyman Mark Walczyk (R -Watertown) is calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to waive the state’s excise tax on small businesses that stepped up to offer services to New York State residents during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

In particular, Walczyk is looking for relief for a number of farm distilleries that have switched from manufacturing spirits to hand sanitizer and other cleaning products.

Until the tax is waived, these businesses will continue to be charged a $6.20 (or more) excise tax for every gallon of alcohol that leaves their facility — nearly half the total production cost of the product, Walczyk’s office said.

“We’ve all heard the old saying, ‘no good deed goes unpunished,’ or in this case taxed. If a business has done a 180 to help the people of New York, the state should be doing everything in their power to further enable that business to maximize their ability to produce the goods people need,” Walczyk said in a prepared statement.

“The state shouldn’t be asking businesses that are stepping up to the plate to help their neighbor, to pay a tax for doing a good thing. It’s wrong. I implore the Governor to suspend the excise tax on alcohol produced for sanitizing products during this health crisis.”

Walczyk’s office said he has contacted the governor’s office over the past several days in hopes he will use his executive powers to waive the fees. Walczyk’s office said he hopes this change will continue to extend the distilleries production capacity during the foreseeable future as the state continues to combat the coronavirus pandemic.