Government Affairs Albany UpdateJanuary 12, 2001
- New Majority Leader to speak to GAC
- 2001 Legislative Program to be approved by GAC
- Senate Majority Energy Tax Proposals
New Assembly Majority Leader Paul Tokasz will be the featured speaker at the January 16th meeting of the Government Affairs Council. The meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m. Please remember it will be held in the Empire State Plaza Concourse, in Meeting Rooms 2 & 3.
Last week's GAC memo highlighted Brad Race as our featured speaker. Mr. Race had to postpone his appearance until a later date because of a conflict with the release of the Governor's budget.
At the meeting we will provide details on the Governor's proposed budget, and staff will make presentations on superfund, energy issues and our business/university research initiatives.
No advance registration is necessary to attend the Government Affairs Council meeting.
The Government Affairs Council will be approving The Business Council's 2001 Legislative Program when it convenes on January 16th. You received the draft program last week by mail. You can also review it on our web site. Go to: www.bcnys.org/inside/01legprog.htm
The Senate Majority announced energy tax changes today as part of their energy cost reduction program. The changes proposed to energy tax law are:
- Inclusion of residential customers in the phased-out of the Section 186-A Utility Gross Receipts Tax on the Transportation, Transmission, and Delivery (TTD) of electricity and gas for commercial customers by 1/1/5. (Residential customers currently are scheduled to phase down to 2% by such date.) This will reduce residential energy costs by $250 million annually when fully effective.
- Elimination of the Petroleum Business Tax (5 cents per gallon at present) on commercial heating fuels, a tax reduction of $10 million annually when fully effective.
- Exemption from State and local Sales and Use Tax all products designed to improve energy efficiency of existing residential, commercial, and industrial facilities. The State would reimburse local governments for their lost revenue. This is a $125 million annual tax savings when fully effective.
In addition to the tax proposals set forth by the Senate Majority, there was a strong endorsement of the siting of new generating plants in New York State. Senator Bruno stated that with electricity demand increasing each year and New York not having built a power plant since 1994, we need to expedite the siting process and have new generation installed.
This point was echoed by Senator Wright, Chair of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee. In addition to their support for new power plants, the Senate Majority rejected the reregulation of New York's unfolding electricity market and emphasized its support for the Public Service Commission's role in administering the deregulation process. A key point stressed was the elimination of energy taxes as an immediate way to reduce rates not legislative intervention in deregulation.