New York Governor Proposes Security Tax

ALBANY, N.Y. – There will be a 3-percent sales tax on security services, including electronic security and alarm installations, in the state of New York if a budget proposal by New York Gov. George Pataki is approved.

According to a spokesperson for Pataki, the security tax, which will raise $29.3 million, will be earmarked for public safety measures like installing “E911” technology that will allow police to trace the locations of 911 calls made from cell phones.
“The modest change will ensure there is a separate and dedicated funding source to support critical public safety activities,” Ken Brown, a spokesperson in Pataki’s budget division, told Security Sales & Integration. “The bottom line is the measure will help to ensure funds are available for security in New York.”

Brown says private industry dedicated to security should do its share to ensure there is funding for public security measures. “We face tough decisions, but this will ensure funds are available to protect people in the state,” says Brown, who adds measures are in place to make sure all of the security tax revenue goes to security purposes.

That isn’t reassuring for Bart Didden, president of USA Central Station Alarm Corp. in Port Chester, N.Y. “The first thing that always runs through your mind is where is the money going to go?” says Didden. “We can’t point to an initiative where they’re going to be putting closed-circuit cameras on every street. There’s nothing in there that indicates they will spend it on electronic security. It sounds like a convenient way to generate a stream of revenue.”

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