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Government Affairs Albany Update

March 31, 2000

Reminder: Dinapoli to Address GAC

The next meeting of the full Government Affairs Council is set for Tuesday, March 21st. Assemblyman Tom DiNapoli, Chairman of the Assembly Local Governments Committee is the featured speaker. Business Council staff will provide updates on a range of topics, including tax cuts, power for jobs, and privacy legislation. No advance registration is needed.

Schimminger Proposal on GRT

On Thursday, Assemblyman Robin Schimminger (D-Erie County), chair of the Assembly Committee on Economic Development, announced a bill that would phase-out the gross receipts tax on energy over a two year period.

Governor Pataki and Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno have already urged repeal of the energy GRT. Their proposals would phase out the tax over five years and three years, respectively.

"With New York businesses and families paying among the highest energy rates in the nation, it's critical that we reduce those costs in order to become competitive," Schimminger said. "The high cost of energy is a key reason why upstate New York's economy continues to lag behind the national and downstate pace of job growth."

The Schimminger legislation would also phase out the "gas import privilege tax," a tax imposed on the out-of-state purchase of natural gas. Further, it contains a fully refundable GRT credit, effective January 1, 2000, for manufacturing businesses that would cover the full amount of the GRT that is passed on to them in their energy bills. The Business Council applauded this proposal, which advances our goal of eliminating this anti-competitive tax as soon as possible. As of today, no bill number has been assigned to this legislation. We will get that information to you next week.

We strongly encourage you to contact your Assembly representatives to urge them to co-sponsor and endorse this proposal.

Senate Releases Privacy Report

The Senate Majority Task Force on Privacy Invasion has released their report and recommendations which establishes new privacy protections in New York State. The 76 page Task Force Report includes more than 50 recommendations. I have highlighted a few below.