As a result of the July 28 affiliate meeting in Albany, we are also directing some of our attention to the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly. You will recall that the Senate voted to repeal the affiliate tax on June 19. That bill was sponsored by the Rules Committee. The bill was sent to the State Assembly who quickly referred it to the Ways and Means Committee. The bill will sit there until they decide to do something. We believe that the Senate bill to repeal the affiliate tax was sparked, at least in part by the devastating effect the law has had on non profit groups such as the Boys Scouts.
While our solution of the signed agreement will solve the problem for most affiliates, nonprofit groups are faced with additional requirements. This law severely hampers their ability to raise funds to support their causes. I post more about that in a future post.
I have been in correspondence with Karen McMahon as to how to best approach the political avenue. Her valuable and informed advice will definitely facilitate this aspect of our work. We are going to focus our energy and time where it will be most effective.
We, as a group, will begin to identify those from the Rules committee that supported the bill and ask for their assistance and input. They may be able to point us in the right direction in order to get a sponsor on the Ways and Means Committee, as well as help identify those who will help us get the bill to pass.
Karen has also indicated that it is critical that we contact our Assembly members. This is where every affiliate needs to let their voice be heard.
Every affiliate needs to take action. Call your Assembly member’s office and email them and let your affiliate voice be heard. Request a meeting and tell them in person about the impact of the law. Many of the elected officials will be in their home offices so it will be easier to call them and easier to get a meeting. Let them know how this has affected you. Tell them about the number of merchants who terminated NY affiliates. Let them know about your loss of income. Let them know that there are thousands of New York affiliates losing their businesses.
Do all of this in a professional manner. Treat them with respect. Identify yourself as a constituent and ask them for their assistance. If you know of other affiliates living near you work together. Have your friends and families contact their Assembly member.
If your Assembly member sits on the Ways and Means Committee your voice can have even more impact.
If there has ever been a time for affiliates to make their voices heard this is it. We proved in Albany that we can work together to accomplish amazing things. That meeting was possible due to the support from many and we need to move forward. Look at what we have accomplished so far. Imagine what we can accomplish in the future.
We never need to totally agree, but we do need to work together. I have said it a few times today but it deserves repeating – Together we are a great team.
A big thank you to Karen McMahon for her fabulous insights and advice.