Governor Cuomo’s negotiations with the labor unions for New York State’s public employees will have a significant impact on the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (the Department). The Department is slated to suffer 301 of the 3,496 layoffs set for October 19 related to the Public Employee Federation’s (PEF) failure to come to an agreement on a new contract with the Governor. The Department’s Office of Counsel will be disproportionally affected, losing 37 of 42 lawyers. No, that is not a typo.

The layoffs could not come at a worse time for taxpayers, who have been demanding more from the Office of Counsel. Taxpayers have been requesting more guidance to obtain certainty (e.g., whether a service constitutes an “information service”), which takes on an even greater importance in the sales tax context when companies are collecting and remitting tax for the Department.

While there is still hope that the PEF and the Governor can come to an agreement, October 19 is approaching rapidly. Check out the Times Union (a New York Capital District news outlet) for the most recent news on the negotiations.