Legislative Memo

T 518.465.7511


S.6835-B (Seward) / A.10123-A (Destito)



Establishes commission to evaluate competitive issues between privately and publicly owned outdoor recreational facilities


S.6835-B (Seward) / A.10123-A (Destito)


June 11, 2008


The Business Council of New York State supports this legislation which establishes a commission to examine and make recommendations on issues related to the appropriate level of fair competition between publicly and privately owned outdoor recreational facilities.

This bill will provide an objective review of the true costs of publicly owned outdoor recreational facilities along with recommendations on how the competitive advantage between publicly and privately-owned outdoor recreational facilities can be better leveled.  Publicly owned outdoor recreational facilities do not bear the many cost burdens borne by privately owned facilities, including real property tax, liability insurance and certain Labor Law requirements. This competitive advantage provided to publicly-owned recreational facilities comes at the direct expense of their private competitors.

In an era of diminishing government resources, and consistent with the Governor's emphasis on spending accountability and transparency, The Business Council believes an objective evaluation would provide a context to understand the appropriate role for government in the operation of outdoor recreational facilities. The government should not be using taxpayer dollars to subsidize outdoor recreational facilities at the expense of private sector competitors in the same region. State laws, regulations, and budgets should reflect a level of equity and transparency that permit both types of recreational facilities to co-exist and compete and should not favor not one at the expense of the other. Private sector outdoor recreational facilities pay taxes, provide jobs, and are unable to benefit from the many advantages public sector facilities are afforded. Evaluating the level of subsidy, statutory or regulatory advantage to public facilities and providing equity recommendations will be a sound starting point from which to justify further investment or operational options.

For these reasons, The Business Council supports this bill.