To all tech event producers: No more events in NYC please

To all tech event producers: No more events in NYC please

Summary: Remember the slogan and song "I love New York?"  I used to love New York.


Remember the slogan and song "I love New York?"  I used to love New York.  I even grew up there.  First in Queens, and then the "G'Island" (yo, what exit?). But, now, I'm not loving it anymore. I've just received an internal memo from my company's payroll department informing me that New York State is expecting anybody who travels to the state on business to pay income tax based on total number of days they spend there (on business).  Our payroll department must withhold tax from any employee who traveled to New York State and spent 14 or more days there in total. It is also advising all employees who traveled to New York State on business to consult with a tax specialist. Just what I always wanted -- to spend more time with my tax consultant who bills me for his time. 

If my memory serves me correctly, I was in New York for a total of one day this year to attend the final day of Syndicate. Thankfully, the next edition of that event will be held in San Francisco and it takes place at precisely the same time that another event that I normally attend -- Interop -- is taking place in New York City.  Can you guess which one I'll be attending? About the only way I can envision putting an end to this shameful practice is to let event producers like MediaLive International know that, if their events are going to further burden our tax liability and time, that we will not attend them.  Perhaps then, and only then, will those in charge of venue selection threaten to take their business elsewhere which in turn could change the way New York treats its business visitors.

Topic: ZDNetLive

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  • This was not how I understood it

    There was an article about how NY was suing telecommuters that WORK for a company BASED in NY - but they live somewhere else (Jersey?). Wanting to withold taxes from any old tourist that ventures there seems quite odd. Not only that, what about visiting NY but staying in Jersey (like I did that last time I went sightseeing)? This seems are unenforcable as States trying to collect sales tax on all of your mail-order stuff.
    Roger Ramjet
    • Interesting points, but...

      that could be the case since our company DOES have offices in NYC. However, the notification I received does not discriminate between work I may have done at the company's offices and work that I did that has nothing to do with the company's presence in NYS. Even so, what other states have local income tax and, if NYS is making you pay income tax on the days you work in that state, can you subtract those days from the state you normally work in? I just think this sets up a horribly burdensome precedent that make NYS seem like a most inhospitable place to do business. After all, just by going there, I'm ALREADY making all sorts of tax-based contributions (let alone the non-tax-based contributions that also trickle down) to the local economy. There's the airport tax. The hotel tax. The sales tax. The tax on the gasoline that my cab drivers use. If more states do this, I'll end up spending more money with my tax accountant just sorting it all out than I will in the taxes themselves. That just doesn't seem right to me.

      • Not exactly...

        "If more states do this, I'll end up spending more money with my tax accountant just sorting it all out than I will in the taxes themselves. That just doesn't seem right to me."

        The more complex and burdensome the tax codes get, the less people worry about the minutiae of them. Start picking people apart with too burdensome of taxes in general, or too complex of tax codes/rules, and there will just be a general refusal to follow it. Most of the general public has a pretty large disdain for the amount of taxation they are burdened with as it is.
      • Seems like a "head tax" would be easier

        I agree that having to keep track of your income while there is unusually burdensome. I imagine the city officials might think it's fine to do this, since I can remember coming back from Europe into the U.S. and having to declare the value of the goods I bought overseas. All of my receipts were in my luggage, yet they wanted me to fill this out on the plane. I just guessed and declared a rough amount from memory... It was the first time I had done this, so I did the best I could. But I remember thinking, "Why do I have to do this...on the plane??" It seemed to me it would've been easier to just send a form home with me, due by a certain time in the future, and let me sort it out once I unpacked.

        If I declared above a certain amount, they wanted me to pay tax on it (can't remember the percentage).

        Since NYC is a port city, maybe they thought the regulation you describe would be acceptable, too.
        Mark Miller
  • This is why I advocate a (single) transaction tax

    Tax money as it leaves your bank account - just like an ATM fee. No other taxation AT ALL is needed. State tax could be levied on bank accounts according to your PERMANENT ADDRESS - not where the bank is headquartered. Simple, efficient and non-regressive.
    Roger Ramjet
  • To all tech event producers: No more events in NYC please

    I want more events in NYC. Since I will be moving there very soon, ok, its actually across the river into the jersey side due to cheaper rent, I want more events. A simple train or bus ride and bam! I'm in the city.

    But yeah, I can understand what your saying. Being taxed for just being in the city on business is rather extreme. I'll be living in NJ and working in NYC, so what does that mean for me? I'd rather not pay taxes twice. But I'll leave on this note. I love the events at the Javitz center. I got contacts at a hotel just across the street from it so finding a place to stay isn't hard.
    Loverock Davidson
  • Seen something similar in my neck of the woods

    This tax has been around for a long time, but in Denver, CO. they have a "head tax" for people who are there on business. You don't even have to live in or be based in Denver to come under the tax rule. It's modest, $8.00 per employee (I think), $4.00 for each self-employed person who carries out any activity related to their work/career in the city, per quarter. I didn't even know it existed until a friend told me about it last year.

    Big cities know they're an attractive place to go on business, so they take advantage of that for revenue.
    Mark Miller