Here's an interesting Advisory Opinion hot off the presses out of NY that actually favors the taxpayer. Did you know that conveyors can be exempt in NY if they are used directly and predominantly in production activities? It's the truth, read on for some of the specific facts and some language from the Opinion.
If you'd like a full copy, let us know and we'll get it to you. Just keep in mind that in New York, an Advisory Opinion is limited to the facts set forth therein and is binding on the Department only with respect to the person or entity to whom it is issued and only if the person or entity fully and accurately describes all relevant facts.
The issue raised by Petitioner is whether the conveyor used to move product outside of Petitioner's plant qualifies for the production exemption under section 1115(a)(12) of the Tax Law for equipment used directly and predominantly in the production process.
Petitioner is in the business of producing various grades of concrete aggregate products. Petitioner uses aggregate conveyors to move products to conical stockpiles outside of the production plant.
Petitioner states that when the aggregate products are moved from within the plant to be stockpiled outside the plant, the products begin a dewatering process that continues until after the products are dropped in the stockpiles. The products cannot be loaded for delivery directly from the plant and are not ready for sale or delivery as they leave the plant on the conveyor system. In order to be ready for sale, the product must have a moisture content in a range below 5%. The process of drying a product or removing water from a product is considered to be a production activity. (See Matter of Albert H. Mast, St Tax Comm, September 3, 1982, TSB-H-82(97)S; Matter of National Fuel Distribution Corporation et. al., Dec Tax App Trib, March 14, 1991, DTA Nos. 801047 and 801048.) While Petitioner does not appear to "package" its products, based on the facts in this Opinion, the aggregate is not a finished product at the time it is placed on the conveyor and moved outside to the stockpile. Petitioner's conveyor system is used to transport the aggregate from the plant to the outside stockpile, during which time the drying process continues. Thus, the conveyor system is used directly and predominantly in production activities and qualifies for exemption from sales and use tax pursuant to section 1115(a)(12) of the Tax Law.