By Assemblyman Will Barclay (R-Pulaski)
While economists say the worst of the recession is behind us, it’s difficult to believe when many of our neighbors and friends are still out of work and New York’s unemployment figures still calculate in at a 26-year high. As we embark on a new legislative session, I look forward to passing legislation that helps create jobs, cuts business taxes, and provides property tax relief.
New York State has the second-highest cost of doing business in the nation, following only Hawaii, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). This ranking can be attributed to New YorkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s high energy (fourth highest) and health care costs (ninth highest). The Tax Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based group that studies different tax structures and state tax policies, ranked New York at number 49 in the Ã¢â‚¬Å“business class climate indexÃ¢â‚¬Â for 2009. This study looks at property, corporate, income, sales and unemployment insurance taxes to arrive at this unflattering statistic that should motivate state leaders to make drastic changes. Instead, our Governor has proposed more fees and taxes in his executive budget.
Our state legislative priorities should be focused on job creation in 2010. In order to do so, however, we cannot simply create another program like the newly proposed Excelsior program or the Empire Zone program. Job growth should happen naturally in the marketplace, as a result of substantial tax cuts. By providing real incentive for small businesses and manufacturers who employ others, other jobs will be created. Here are some other ways we can achieve this:
Eliminate the corporate franchise tax for manufacturers.
Provide tax incentives to manufacturers who maintain jobs at a certain level.
Provide education grants to business owners and employees for necessary coursework to support micro-enterprise business.
Provide tax credits for on-the-job training.
Authorize a tax credit equal to 15 percent of the cost of health insurance premiums paid by small businesses for their employees.
We should also work to reduce the cost of energy for existing businesses. Unfortunately last year, the state increased and applied new energy assessments for residents and businesses. These new costs are especially harmful to businesses whose energy bills are already expensive. I’ve heard from several residents and business owners who believe this latest assessment is unfair and puts businesses at a disadvantage in the marketplace. I support legislation that repeals these new increases and assessments.
By cutting property taxes and reducing unfunded mandates for localities, New York would become a more inviting state. As we look back at 2009, our country took a big gamble in passing the controversial stimulus package. Its passage infused billions of taxpayer dollars into our economy. If its main purpose was to create jobs then the state should work along with federal resources to create those jobs and put people to work as was promised. By passing legislation that encourages job growth, it would in turn support taxpayer dollars that have already been spent to do just that.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding this or any other state matter, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list, contact me by mail at 200 North Second Street, Fulton, 13069, by e-mail at [email protected], or by phone at (315) 598-5185.