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Minnesota Governor Signs Bill Providing Tax Parity for Vending Operators
CHICAGO – May 31, 2017 – Tuesday night, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed a budget bill that included tax parity for vending operators in the state. Members of the Minnesota Automatic Merchandising Council (MAMC) and NAMA have worked diligently over the last two years on this legislation.
The new law remedies an inequity in Minnesota tax law regarding the taxation of items sold through vending machines. It extends the existing tax exemption on the sale of food products to vending operators and makes it applicable to all retail locations in an equitable manner. Food products that are exempt from taxation when sold in grocery stores, convenience stores and catering trucks will now be exempt when sold through vending machines.
“Our position on this legislation was that for vending operators in the State of Minnesota there was an inequity in the sales tax law related to food products sold through vending machines,” said MAMC President Steve Marx. “Other Minnesota retailers were not required to pay sales tax on the same food products that are taxed when sold from vending machines. This change in the law will place vending operators in the same position as other retailers and they will not be forced to either absorb the sales tax or pass it on to consumers. This is a big win for the industry and our consumers,” he concluded.
MAMC members began work on this bill during the 2016 legislative session. They attended hearings before both revenue committees and lobbied for the bill during their annual legislative day. Earlier this year, the group retained Ward Einess, a lobbyist with an expertise in revenue and taxation in Minnesota. Working with the lobbyist they met for a second time with the revenue and tax committees and held meetings with the leadership in both houses during their legislative day in January. The language from their bill was incorporated into the budget proposal forwarded to the Governor for his signature.
“This is big win for the vending operators in Minnesota,” said Sandy Larson, NAMA Senior Director of Government Affairs. “It underscores the importance of being involved in state council advocacy efforts and shows the value that MAMC and NAMA are providing for the industry in Minnesota and across the country. I applaud the members of MAMC for this great victory,” she concluded.
NAMA represents the $31 billion U.S. convenience services industry. By providing advocacy, education and research, NAMA works to promote and protect the industry’s nearly 160,000 hardworking employees. Through traditional vending and micro markets, office coffee and pantry services, product manufacturing and small-drop distribution, convenience services meets the needs of over 40 million American consumers daily at work, home, school and play.