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Andrew Cuomo Internet tax plan may be dead

A proposal by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to expand sales tax collections on online purchases is not expected to be part of a state budget agreement, according to state Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore) and other legislative officials.

“The deal is that it’s supposed to be out of the budget,” Boyle said Wednesday. “But again that could change,” he said, noting the continuing negotiations on the budget, which is due by April 1.

The proposal would require online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay to collect sales tax on transactions between New York residents and all third-party vendors, including those based out of state.

Senate Republicans scuttled the plan early in budget negotiations, Assembly sources said.

“Since the executive budget was first unveiled, Senate Republicans have strongly opposed the $1 billion in new taxes and fees advanced by the governor,” Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif said. “We recognize the need to take steps to make New York a more affordable state to live and work, and expect the enacted budget will reflect it.

Said Assemb. Dean Murray (R-East Patchogue): “We have been taxed enough. Enough already.”

Cuomo and Democratic legislators have argued that the proposal would bring in needed revenue and create a level playing field for brick-and-mortar shops that must collect state and local sales tax.

The Nassau and Suffolk county executives, Laura Curran andSteve Bellone, both Democrats, backed Cuomo’s plan.

“Our brick-and-mortar stores are at a competitive disadvantage against big businesses that do not play by the same rules,” Bellone told Newsday previously.

Representatives for Cuomo, Curran and Bellone did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.

Those opposed to the plan included the Business Council of New York State, an Albany-based trade group that has argued that Congress should take the lead on online sales taxes, as the issue concerns all states.

“The last thing businesses need is a confusing hodgepodge of differing state rules,” council president and CEO Heather C. Briccetti said Wednesday.

With Michael Gormley

State & Region