Raising a glass to Ron
By HELEN FREUND and TODD VENEZIA
Last Updated: 6:52 AM, June 6, 2011
Posted: 11:02 PM, June 5, 2011
There’s one congressman who will never have to pay for a drink in Manhattan.
Rep. Ron Paul, the libertarian-leaning Republican presidential candidate from Texas, has become an unlikely hero among bar and restaurant workers as he fights for a bill that would end all taxes on tips — the bread and butter of bartenders and waiters.
Last Thursday, a group of Paul’s Big Apple supporters, called the Ron Paul NYC Liberty HQ, held a Manhattan pub crawl in support of the legislation.
“It’s just not right. That money is supposed to be a gratuity for [the workers], not for the government,” said Dominic Inferrera, 38, a volunteer with the group.
“I worked as a server for 10 years, and I know how hard it can be,” he said. “The sad thing is that a lot of the servers end up getting audited at the end of the year and usually work so hard that they don’t have the time or financial resources to handle it.”
Paul introduced the Tax Free Tips Act of 2011 in March. The measure would end all income tax, Social Security withholding and other federal levees on any tips earned by salaried workers.
“Unlike regular wages, a service-sector employee usually has no guarantee of, or legal right to, a tip,” Paul said in 2009, when he introduced a similar bill.
“Instead, the amount of a tip usually depends on how well an employee satisfies a client. Since the amount of taxes one pays increases along with the size of tip, taxing tips punishes workers for doing a superior job.”
As Liberty HQ members spread the word of Paul’s proposal to bar workers around the city, they got enthusiastic support.
At the Wicker Park bar on 83rd and Third Avenue, bartender Kristin Rocco, 24, said, “People just don’t understand what it’s like to work for a living in the service industry.”
“It’s already a big blow to just receive a meager 15 to 20 percent tip for the amount of work we do.”
At nearby Dylan Murphy’s, bartender Gavin Ward said he was a Paul backer. “I like the sound of this bill — I hope it passes,” he said. “I don’t mind paying my taxes like every other citizen, but the way we servers and bartenders have to do it — on an already meager wage — well, it’s just no good.”
Unfortunately for the bar workers, the bill doesn’t have a good track record. Similar measures Paul sponsored in 2007 and 2009 failed to pass.
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/raising_glass_to_ron_pnQMYegNe82iIc7oNyuVPK#ixzz1OXuzUGnV