Thursday, April 30, 2009

"get involved" - I did.

From the Freelancers Union
"We had an incredible turnout at yesterday’s City Council Hearing on creating tax justice for freelancers by exempting them from the Unincorporated Business Tax (UBT). We packed the room and still couldn’t get everyone in. (See photos here.)

One city official said he couldn’t recall when he’d heard a better panel of testifiers, and there was resounding support from others in attendance. Council Member David Yassky was our partner in organizing this hearing, and below you can see excerpts of the testimony he heard.

Also Tuesday, the New York Post ran our op-ed about the UBT. It makes the case for exempting freelancers from the Unincorporated Business Tax–a necessary, just, and overdue amendment to an outdated tax.

Here are some excerpts from the testimonies to City Council on Tuesday:

April Silver, member and web designer: “Every year the UBT has cost me about $4,000 . . . That’s twenty thousand dollars over 5 years that I could have saved in a retirement account, spent on rent or on upgrading my business.”

Patricia McKiernan, Executive Director of the Graphic Artists Guild: “The world has changed and our laws have not. The independent workforce deserves equitable tax treatment. At a time when New York City’s creative class is struggling more than ever, it’s time to refocus the UBT on its original target . . .”

Stephen Botkin, member and theatrical technical director: “It should be said that I would be much less opposed to this tax if freelancers were offered anything in return from the State. However, such is not the case since we are not entitled to any wage claims available to employees or any benefits as conferred on corporate taxpayers.”

I was there, 250 Broadway, just across the street from City Hall here in New York City on tuesday, it was a very inspiring hearing down at the City Council meeting. The founder of the Freelancers Union Sara Horowitz gave an incredible argument for us.

Here's two photos from their flicker page, outside before i got into the City Council meeting room, and sat in the front row. (Most supporters were left outside since there was limited space, I did what i had to and got in.)

1 comment:

  1. I've always been intrigued by the freelancer union ever since seeing a poster in a subway on a nyc visit. Thanks for shedding some light. I'll be researching it further and passing info along to the freelance community around me. Onward. - Eric