Printers in New York State are a step closer to seeing their legislature preserve a sales tax exemption that would have been extremely costly for them to lose. Tim Freeman, president of Printing Industries Alliance, reported the progress to his members yesterday: "Several weeks ago, the New York State Assembly passed their revenue plan that did not contain provisions to repeal the sales tax exemption.  The proposal to repeal the exemption was removed from the version passed in late March due to the hard work put in by PIA members and other coalition participants.   "This is obviously good news.  The repeal of the sales tax exemption has never been included in the New York State Senate or governor’s budget proposals.   "While nothing is certain until the budget is approved and implemented, we are cautiously optimistic that we will be ultimately successful.  We will keep you posted on further developments and are hopeful that the budget will be finished in the next few days." Printing Industries Alliance, the PIA affiliate representing Empire State printers, vigorously opposed the Assembly's attempt to remove the exemption, which it said would have obliged printers to collect as much as 10% on the selling price of direct mail, catalogs, and other products and services. The Alliance maintained that repeal would cost New York State’s printing industry upwards of 4,200 manufacturing jobs and $400-600 million per year in lost revenue. The Alliance is a part of a statewide coalition of trade associations and labor groups united against repeal. The coalition has worked to acquaint lawmakers with a PIA report stating that imposition of the sales and use tax could cause 10% to 15% of direct mail and other related printing produced in New York to shift out of state or to electronic media.