The New York State Automatic Vending Association's second Annual Herb Luckower Dinner & Golf Outing held Oct. 10, 2012 at the Westchester Hills Golf Club in White Plains, N.Y., was the most successful event in recent NYSAVA history. The success of the event, raising more money for the work of NYSAVA and record breaking attendance, confirmed the importance of the work of NYSAVA's officers and board of directors in representing the interests of the vending industry in New York. Carla Balakgie, president and CEO of NAMA, the guest speaker at the event, highlighted NYSAVA's successful lobbying of the New York State legislature to pass the $1.50 sales tax exemption of products sold through vending machines and the meeting with the New York City Department of Health to discuss the sale of healthy products in vending machines.
Next Generation Vending's Brian Gill, president of NYSAVA, however, reported that "more work remained" as the sales tax exemption bill had yet to be signed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The Governor's office has requested that the tax exemption has to be "revenue neutral"-- the loss of sales tax revenue must be made up by the New York State vending industry committing to invest and create new jobs in New York State. John Murn from Answer Vending stated that NYSAVA was in the process of preparing an "Economic Impact Study" showing that fewer taxes will result in job growth in the New York State vending industry. Gill stated the NYSAVA had less than three months to convince the Governor. The study, which shows fewer taxes equal more vending jobs in a state and the multiplier effect of those jobs on the general economy, is important because it could serve as a model for other states seeking similar sales tax relief. In a discussion with Gill, he emphasized this multiplier effect can be evaluated if the New York vending industry invests in new technology and sells New York healthy products such as New York apples and the new Greek yogurt now being manufactured in up-state New York in vending machines and micro markets.
Balakgie praised the cooperation of NYSAVA and NAMA at the NYC Department of Health meeting to inform the City that vending was not just a "candy and soda" business, but an industry determined to market and sell new healthy products. She also stressed that NAMA and the state associations must be thorough and accurate in their facts and insights in advocating their positions before governmental agencies. The evening had remarks from the family of Herb Luckower and concluded with a presentation of golf awards, raffles and the thanks of NYSAVA to Mike Cascione of CC Vending for arranging and hosting the event at the Westchester Hills Golf Club.