IRPA Insight On Indiana Sales Tax Parity For Vendors

March 9, 2018

In an email that The Indiana Refreshment Providers Association lobbyist and Executive Director sent to IRPA members: 

"IRPA Members: 


I want to thank all of you again for your support and assistance in the passage of SB 124 which provides sales tax parity for vend operators.  I have felt that persistence would pay off someday and that someday finally arrived.  Many of you reading this email contacted your legislators which contributed to our success and I want you to know how much I appreciate it.  


But I believe that there are three people who deserve to be singled out for public recognition for their role in the passage of SB 124.  The first is State Senator Jon Ford.  Jon was elected four years ago and I don’t think we would have passed this bill without his counsel and work behind the scenes with his legislative colleagues.  Jon is up for re-election in November and he has more than earned the support of our industry as he also authored the bill defining micro markets last year.  We need to do everything we can to ensure that Jon is re-elected and returns to the State Senate. 


The second person is Jeff Snyder of Snyder Food Services.  Sales tax parity became a crusade for Jeff several years ago and he sunk his teeth into this issue like a pitbull biting into a steak.  We suffered numerous disappointments and frustrations during this long legislative journey, but Jeff refused to give up and he refused to let me give up.  I couldn’t count the hours Jeff and I spent communicating via email and phone and the time and money Jeff has spent lobbying his local legislators.  Again, I am certain that SB 124 would not have passed without his efforts.  


And the third person is Justin McDonald of American Food and Vending.  A couple of years ago, I asked IRPA members to contact their legislators to advocate for sales tax parity.  Next thing I know, Justin is coming to the Statehouse for face to face meetings with several key legislators.  And he has remained engaged since then and provided testimony before several legislative committees and deftly answered the questions thrown at him by legislators.  Like the others I mentioned, Justin’s contribution was invaluable to our efforts.  


Steve Beebe" 


Additionally, Jeff Snyder - IRPA adds, "The passage of the Indiana Sales Tax Parity issue was not an accident and did not occur over night." While Steve Beebe has taken the time to identify the frontal persons, so many more have played a part in this lengthy journey. Gerard Gauesslin, former owner and President of Chicago Vendors Supply, threw CVS and himself head long into the fray for many years in the fight for tax parity in Indiana. His persistence, financial support, and constant creative ideas help create the base for our success. Non IRPA member Dan Smith of Krodel Vending in Jasper, IN played a significant role by following a prompt from Jeff Snyder to speak directly to his Senator Mark Messmer. With Dan's assistance Senator Messmer was an integral player to hearing the tax parity bill in 2016 in the Commerce and Technology Committee he chairs. Messmer was an absolute ally throughout the entire process. Andy Fox of Fox Canteen in Terre Haute hosted a fund-raising event for Senator Ford. It was there that a meeting with then Sen. Brandt Hershman occurred. Hershman chaired the very powerful Tax and Fiscal committee and was an adamant no to hearing the parity bill until the end of the meeting. His no, became a maybe, to finally hearing the bill in his committee in 2016. 


"So many persons committed to this historic effort and many will go unnamed for lack to recall," said Snyder. Fifteen years of constant efforts by the Vending Industry and the amazing results..."In 2017 the parity bill was heard in a Senate committee, a House of Representatives committee, by the full Senate, and finally by the entire House of Representatives. The most remarkable part of the 2017 legislative journey, AT NO STEP IN THIS PROCESS WAS THE SALES TAX PARITY ISSUE OPPOSED BY ANY LEGISLATOR!"