Restaurants Are Adding ‘Cuomo Taxes’ to Protest New York’s Wage Increase

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Photo: Spencer Platt

A different place upstate, the American Diner near Syracuse, has the “Dictator Obama/NYS Special (King Cuomo)” breakfast special — two eggs and some toast for $3.59 plus $27.99 in taxes. A third spot upstate, the restaurant at Belhurst Castle, has also added a surcharge that’s 4.75 percent, but it looks considerably more official — right below the real tax, the receipt claims a “NYS Labor Surcharge” is occurring. It also helps that Belhurst Castle’s fee spells all of the words correctly, unlike Back Nine’s “Coumo tax.”

Back Nine’s owner says the reason for calling the governor out by name is pretty obvious. “I guess what I do is blame Cuomo for signing the bill, so that is why I used his name,” he told the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, before adding: “We spelled his name wrong purposefully. We know that.” He says the surcharge brings in $300 to $400 a month, enough to offset a week’s wages. The tax’s days might be numbered, though, because Aquilina appears to live by the mantra that the customer is always right: “I do know firsthand that three [customers] refused to pay it, and I said, ‘Fine. That’s no problem. I’ll take it off your bill.’”

[Democrat & Chronicle]