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MARCH 1998

Speaker Silver unveils broad package of tax reductions

ITC would extend to securities industry; Power For Jobs accelerated in plan

The push for more tax cuts in 1998 took on major new impetus today Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver proposed reductions in a broad array of taxes, including extension of the investment tax credit to the securities industry.

The Assembly Majority package would extend the ITC to equipment purchased for daily securities trading operations.

"Tax relief for the financial services industry will protect jobs and keep New York as the financial capital of the world," Speaker Silver said.

The Assembly plan would also accelerate, by one year, allocation of low-cost power through the Power for Jobs program.

Reducing energy costs and extending the ITC to the securities industry are among The Business Council's top priorities this year.

Other Assembly proposals include accelerating the phase-out of provider taxes on hospitals and nursing homes and expanding the sales tax exemption on clothing.

Business Council President Daniel B. Walsh said the Speaker's package "brings us a giant step closer to enacting the next round of tax reductions needed to make New York more competitive."

All the legislative leaders agree more tax cuts should be enacted this year. Senate Democratic Leader Martin Connor proposed a package including: rebates of $100 for individuals, $200 for married couples; expansion of the earned income tax credit; and temporary repeal of the mortgage recording tax.

Assembly Minority Leader John Faso told The Business Council's Government Affairs Council that his conference supports Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno's wide-ranging plan to cut business taxes.

Faso added that his conference wants to cut the utility gross receipts tax as well.

Business Council staff, chambers of commerce and companies across the state continue to lobby legislators on tax priorities.

For example, chambers from Brooklyn, Queens, Westchester County, Rochester, Manhattan, and the Buffalo-Niagara region have all joined the effort to persuade lawmakers to cut business taxes.

"With the Assembly Majority's proposals on the table, much of our work now will focus on reducing broad-based business tax rates and cutting the alternative minimum tax on employers," Walsh said.

March 19, 1998