Veterans lose out to bureaucracy
In December 2009, the New York stare sales tax was revised for exempt organizations, (ref. Publication 843 - 12/09). No exempt organization ever received notice of this publication. When our American Legion Post received a bill in January for our heating oil, there was an 8 percent sales tax that was never there before.
I called my oil provider, who told me that it's because oil companies no longer put dye in the heating oil and this was the same as diesel motor fuel. Therefore, we must pay the tax.
I called the state Department of Taxation and was told that vets organizations were exempt. I told this to our oil company and said we were exempt as we do have on file with the state a Certificate ST-119 Exemption.
About one hour later, I received a call from a NYS Tax Department representative. Mr. Kevin Stuart said that the employee misinterpreted the law and we had to pay sales tax. He went on to say that we are eligible for a refund, though, if we send Forms FT 500 and ST-119, three pages of information.
I submitted the two forms in January, and have yet to receive a refund. I called the state again and Mr. Stuart told me it takes at least four months for the refund to go through as several people have to review the legitimacy of the request.
State bureaucracy at its best! How ridiculous is that?
I called Sen. Jim Seward's office and they said they were working on the problem, but I have not yet received a response.
Lest we forget, if it weren't for the veterans and their sacrifices, we all might be speaking Japanese or German.
Please contact your state representatives and tell them to remove this part of the law.
Joseph J. Kenyon
Kenyon is the finance officer of the Worcester American Legion