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Government Affairs Albany Update

January 24, 2003

"ISTEA Works in New York" Coalition Meets

The "ISTEA Works in New York" Coalition met in Albany on January 21st to discuss ongoing efforts to re-authorize the most recent federal appropriations to the Transportation Equity Act of the 21st Century (TEA-21). ISTEA Works in New York is a multi-interest public/private/non-profit coalition of individuals and over 150 organizations. The coalition meets monthly. The Business Council is an active member of this coalition as are several of our members. The group is united in the goal of preserving the structure of transportation funding established in ISTEA (the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act) and the financing mechanisms found in TEA -21. Although federally appropriated, the coalition actively seeks to educate local and state officials as well as those in the federal government in order to stress the critical transportation needs of New York State. The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), is the name given Federal legislation which authorizes Federal highway, highway safety, transit and other surface transportation programs. The bill was signed into law on June 9, 1998, and covered the period of October 1, 1997 through September 30, 2003. TEA-21 is the succeeding legislation to the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act as the ISTEA legislation - a landmark piece of transportation legislation - expired on September 30, 1997. The coalitionmaintains its own web site at

Reg Reform Suggestions Sought

The Business Council will be meeting with Dan Hogan, Governor Pataki's newly appointed Director of Regulatory Reform, to discuss reform priorities for 2003. We are interested in hearing your input on state regulations that have a significant adverse impact on your business, as well as your recommendations for streamlining and/or eliminating unnecessary or inefficient regulatory requirements. Also, we would be interested in any comments you have on pending regulatory proposals that would impact your business, and your comments on pending regulations that have been included on an agency's "regulatory agenda" for 2003.

Ken Pokalsky will be collecting reg reform suggestions submitted by Business Council members. Please feel free to submit suggestions by phone (518-465-7511), email ( or by using the official GORR "What's Driving You Nuts?" form, available on line at:

Dan Hogan was appointed as Director of the Governor's Office of Regulatory Reform earlier this month, replacing David Poleto who left the administration for a position in the private sector. Previously, Dan was the Governor's Director of Special Projects, and had served as a senior advisor to Lt. Governor Donohue and in the Department of Social Services.

The Governor's Office of Regulatory Reform was created by Governor Pataki in 1995 to oversee agency compliance with the State Administrative Procedures Act. By Executive Order, Governor Pataki gave GORR increased authority to assure that proposal regulations are consistent with statutory mandates, would achieve benefits that outweigh compliance costs, provide appropriate compliance flexibility, are based on sound science, and meet other criteria. In addition to these regulatory reform duties, GORR also has created new economic development programs, including the "Semi-NY" and "Build Now-NY" programs that promote approval of "shovel ready" development sites, as well as permit assistance for new and expanding businesses.

The Hidden Tax - Gross Receipts on Energy Purchases - Continues Downward

New York's Gross Receipts Tax (GRT) on energy purchases - buried in your gas and electric cost - continues to spiral, and in one case, drift, downward. On January first of this year,

The GRT reductions are part of the 2000-enacted overhaul of energy firm taxation where taxation shifted away from taxation of energy firm receipts and, in return, energy firms' net income became taxable - immediately and fully - under the State's Corporation Franchise Tax (Article 9-A).

Also, as part of the 2000 Chapter of Law, the Gas Importation Privilege Tax (Section 189) rate - imposed on out-of-State purchases of gas for use in-State - dropped from 1.9 percent to 0.85 percent on January 1, 2003.