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Good Question: Taxing the Trash?

December 04, 2017 07:02 AM

We all pay sales tax on a lot of items we buy at the store, but do you also have to pay a tax when you throw those things away?

The short answer: Yes. Everyone in New York State must be charged and pay sales tax on trash removal. 

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Viewer Mark Doran wanted to know why.

"I see a line that shows that there's a sales tax there and it kind of surprised me and I thought I would ask you that question," said Doran.

We went to Alex Sigismondi, owner of Al's Maintenance for the answer.

Taney: Why a sales tax on Garbage?

Sigismondi: Trash pick-up is a service. Anything that gets labor added on to it, sales tax gets charged on to it.

Which leads to a bigger question our viewer had.

"What kind of services can we expect to be taxed and what not?" said Doran.

Most services come with a sales tax in NYS.

For example, as we reported in a previous good question story about your grocery bill, if you pick up a bagel at the store and take it home, it's not taxed.

But if you order a bagel at a deli counter, have it sliced and toasted, it's taxed because a service was involved.

There are not too many fans of this including business owners.

"For small business, it's more paper work, it's more fees and it costs us because we have to collect it. The state audits you all of the time," Sigismondi said.

"I know we have to pay taxes, I am for that but there should be some other way than coming up with fees all of the time." he said.

If you have a question you want Pat to answer, e-mail him at GoodQuestion@WHEC.com.

Credits

Pat Taney

Copyright 2017 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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