Friday, July 10th 2009 will always be remembered as a big day in Freelancers Union history. You may have gotten an email from Sara Horowitz, Freelancers Union Executive Director, on announcing that after a long month with no action, the New York State Senate finally passed our Unincorporated Business Tax bill (S5519) last Friday. Following the State Assembly’s lead, the Senate voted overwhelmingly for $25 million in tax relief for independent workers within New York City. The bill now goes to Governor Paterson for his signature. As of this morning, he has yet to sign the bill. Please email him today and urge him to sign the bill without delay. We’ve been talking about the UBT in numbers and dollar figures for months now, talking about how much money it takes from the local economy each year (about $162 million paid by freelancers annually), how much repealing it for those earning under $100,000 and providing a credit for those earning up to $150,000 will save freelancers ($25 million), and how many people this will immediately impact (17,000). But there was a different set of numbers that was just as equally impressive; the thousands of Freelancers Union members who got involved and worked to make passage of S5519/A8615 a reality:

  • 14 members drove up to Albany with us for a day of lobbying
  • Over 100 of you showed up at City Hall and helped support those who were testifying in support of the UBT repeal
  • We met with over 120 legislators or their staff to personally push for passage of S5519
  • As of this morning 151 of you have sent an email to Gov. Paterson urging him to sign S5519/A8615
  • 253 of you called your State Senators and asked them to get back to work and pass our bill
  • 552 of you donated to our PAC to show lawmakers we’re serious about supporting those who support freelancers
  • Over 2,500 of you sent emails to your state legislators urging their support for our bill
    This was a major step towards providing tens of millions of dollars in tax relief for freelancers and independent workers. But the Governor hasn’t signed the bill yet so take a minute today and send him a message asking for his support. We have many other fights ahead of us including ensuring proper worker classification, developing an unemployment protection program for freelancers, and establishing a system for you to collect unpaid wages. But for now, take pride in what you’ve accomplished, and realize that when thousands of us work together, we can and will make freelancing a little more equitable.