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Improvements Needed to Make NY Truly ‘Open for Business,’ Part 1

By Assemblyman Will Barclay
Our state touts a new mantra and website: NY Open for Business.  While this is true in many ways, we can stand to improve just how open for business we are to both existing and new businesses.

I wanted to make you aware of legislation I have signed on to that would help small businesses, by providing incentives to start a business here, give tax breaks and provide investors tax credits so that our state can better compete with other states and countries in our global economy.

This is part one of a two-part column.

The U.S. Census reports that for the foreseeable future, businesses of 100 employees or fewer will account for 60 to 80 percent of new job growth.  We need to lower the costs further and take down some of the fees for businesses.

One way to do so is with BizBoom.  This legislation would create a business startup program and cut all application fees for new businesses by 50% for the first year, eliminate business income taxes for the first year and reduce income tax rates for the second and third year.

These small yet simple fee and tax breaks make businesses feel welcome, assist them in any road bumps they may have encountered during their first year in business and generally says: We’re glad to have you be a part of this great state.

Another piece of legislation that I am a sponsor of would establish a tax credit for patent fees.

Patent fees include patent applications, patent search fees and patent examination fees, which can be costly to a new business. This bill would establish a tax credit of 100% of patent fees, up to $1,500.

The first three years are critical to a new business.

We must allow them to have some flexibility while they await a profit, which may or may not be realized during their first three years of doing business.

New businesses have to account for application fees such as a DBA (doing business as), sole proprietorship, or LLC.

Other businesses have to consider environmental applications.

Another bill I have signed onto would reduce these fees for the first year.

This has the potential to create real jobs and revenue for the state.

We need to reduce the regulatory burdens on our small business owners.

To give you an idea of the amount of regulations we have in place, the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) publication consists of 82 volumes.

The total weight of the 82 volumes is 267.8 pounds, and costs $2,787 to order.

If you laid those pages down next to each other, it would equal 4.4 miles!

No state needs this many regulations.

Another piece of legislation I recently signed on to would help reduce the amount of regulations imposed on businesses.

This legislation would review and make recommendations for the elimination of burdensome state agency rules.

It would also establish an 800 hotline and website to assist businesses and the public to report burdens and excessive fines.

I hear from businesses on a regular basis that are just trying to work within the system and they are often surprised to learn of a penalty imposed on them by the Department of Environmental Conservation or the Department of Tax and Finance that they receive in the mail.

Sometimes these penalties are overreaching, especially if the business has responded to the penalty and demonstrated that it is working to adjust its business so that it is in compliance.

Often, our state is unforgiving.

We need to work with businesses so that they will stay here and not feel unwelcome.

Next week, I will write about how we can provide tax breaks to investors and use technology as a springboard to job growth.

If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office.

My office can be reached by mail at 200 N. Second St., Fulton, NY 13069, by e-mail at [email protected] or by calling (315) 598-5185.

You may also friend me, Assemblyman Barclay, on Facebook.