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Government Affairs Albany Update

June 11, 1999

Senate Passes Tax Reduction As Part Of Budget

The Senate this week passed Senate bill number 2-A as part of their one-house Budget plan. S.2-A contains numerous tax reductions beneficial to New York's economy which are part of The Business Council's 1999 Legislative Program.

Included are:

Senate Passes Wide-sweeping Energy Tax Cut & Reform Proposal - Assembly Democrats Introduce Competition Plus/Energy 2000 Plan

The Senate this week passed a major tax cut proposal that would reduce energy taxes by as much as $155 million by the year 2003. The plan endorses the Governor's proposal introduced in January to reduce and reconfigure the tax structure of the energy industry. Specific tax cut provisions in the Senate proposal include switching energy utilities from Article 9 to 9-A; a reduction in the gross receipts tax on energy and telecommunications; a repeal in the .75% gross franchise tax; a repeal of the natural gas importation privilege tax; and a phase-out of the assessments on utility assets over 10 years.

Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assembly Energy Committee, this week, introduced their own proposal to restructure the energy industry and the New York State Power Authority (NYPA). The Assembly plan would: cut the rate for the first 200 kilowatts used by residential ratepayers by 40%; cut the sales tax for non-industrial businesses by $112 million; require that members of the Public Service Commission, now appointed by the Governor, be elected statewide; and require the auction of all non-hydropower assets of NYPA.

McCall Releases Budget Status Report

Stating that late budgets have become a costly habit for the state, Comptroller Carl McCall has released a status report on the impact of this year's late budget. The Comptroller's report notes that $19.6 billion in emergency appropriations have been approved so far this fiscal year. McCall noted that the late budget have an adverse effect on local governments and school districts and contributes to the state's low credit rating. Click here for the Comptroller's report.

Walsh to Speak at NYSERDA Conference On Energy Efficiency

The Business Council's President & CEO will speak at a three day conference sponsored by the new York State Energy & Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) that focuses on energy-efficient technical advances to enhance profitability for the state's industrial and business sectors. The conference, which will be held at the Saratoga Springs Sheraton Hotel, June 15-18, will also feature tours of Ball Metal Container Corporation, Quad Graphics, Institute for Fuel Cell Science and Technology and Firestix facilities. Members of The Business Council receive a discount on the registration fee. For more information on how to attend, call Adele Ferranti at NYSERDA, at 518-862-1090.