OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. — The Coin Laundry Association (CLA) and its state affiliates are reporting success in six of its campaigns that protects sales tax exemptions for the self-service laundry industry, effectively saving Laundromat owners at least $20 million in 2013, the association reports.
The CLA says that the states of Minnesota, Ohio, Louisiana, Maine and North Carolina all pushed tax reform plans that would have eliminated the sales tax exemptions for laundries, and could have cost Laundromat owners $10,000 to $15,000 a year per store.
The Wisconsin Self-Service Laundry Association was successful in extending the current exemption beyond “coin-operated” to include card-based transactions, the CLA adds, which paves the way for owners to adopt alternative-payment system technologies.
“A core group of amazing volunteers stepped up to respond to the threat and ensure that all laundries were protected,” says CLA President and CEO Brian Wallace. “They made phone calls, testified at committee hearings, kept their local members informed, spent their own dollars to travel and supported lobbying efforts.”
The CLA adds that lobbyists representing the association worked closely with state House and Senate legislators, as well as committee staffers, to explain the unfairness of imposing a sales tax on coin-operated laundries.
“The North Carolina General Assembly undertook a serious effort to reform its tax code during the 2013 session,” says North Carolina lobbyist Charles B. Neely Jr. of Williams Mullen. “The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee proposed a comprehensive rewrite of the tax code, which would have significantly broadened the sales tax base, including removing the current exemption from the sales tax for coin-operated laundries.”
“Ultimately, the House passed its reform legislation without revoking the current tax exemption for coin-operated laundries,” adds Neely. “When the legislation went to the Senate, significant changes were made to the House legislation, but the Senate also decided not to revoke the current sales tax exemption for coin-operated laundries. The calls made by CLA members to key senators were important in preserving the sales tax exemption.”
“The efforts made by our affiliate volunteers over the past several months illustrate perfectly the value of association … that is, an organization through which people with a common business interest may work together to protect and grow an industry,” says Wallace.