Tournament Organizer To Repay Clothing Sales Tax

Attorney General Spitzer today announced a settlement with a national sports tournament organizer that collected sales tax on exempt clothing and then failed to remit the illegal charges to the state.

Gus Macker Enterprises, Inc. is a Michigan company that organizes community basketball tournaments across the nation and sells merchandise, primarily clothing, with its logo on it.

After a complaint was filed with the Spitzer's office, an investigation revealed that between 2000 - 2002 Gus Macker collected approximately $5,500 in sales tax on clothing during the time that state law provided an exemption for such items. Although Gus Macker had originally remitted approximately $1,000 of the taxes to the state in 2000, the firm stopped remitting the proceeds and, instead, kept the money.

In 2000, the state enacted an exemption from state sales tax for clothing and footwear sold at retail for less than $110 per article. In 2003, that exemption was repealed.

Since 2000, Gus Macker has organized and conducted 15 community basketball tournaments in New York State, including events in Buffalo, Corning, Hornell, Jamestown, Norwich and New York City. During these "street" basketball tournaments communities shut down streets and large parking lots to host dozens of teams and hundreds of players from around the state. Gus Macker matches teams according to age, skill level and experience and provides the basketball hoops, balls and regulations.

In settling the case, Gus Macker agreed to pay $5,500 to the state in civil penalties and costs. The firm also will provide refunds to all individuals who can provide proof of their purchase and improper charge for sales tax.

Individuals with questions about the settlement with Gus Macker are encouraged to contact the Attorney General's consumer help line at (800) 771-7755.

This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Michael Danaher of the Binghamton Regional Office.