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Government Affairs Albany Update

April 29, 2005

Real Property Transfer Taxes

Staff Contact: Ken Pokalsky
The Business Council is opposing legislation, S.3153 (Marcellino)/A.6450 (DiNapoli) that would allow towns to adopt real property transfer taxes to fund local open space projects. These taxes could be up to 2%, and would apply to residential, commercial and industrial properties. The bill establishes an exemption equal to the median residential property value in the town, which would provide limited relief for commercial and industrial property transfers. We see this bill as having a particularly onerous impact downstate, where the high cost of housing is already making it difficult (and more expensive) for businesses to recruit new skilled employees. In addition, it would add to existing state, county and city-level real property transfer taxes already imposed on residential, commercial and industrial properties. This legislation is on next week's Senate EnCon Committee agenda; it has already been reported to the Assembly Ways and Means Committee.

S.3153 memo in opposition

Health Information Technology Educational Conference on June 9

The Coalition for Health Information Technology in New York State (The Business Council is a member), will be presenting a free educational conference on June 9, 2005 at the Empire State Plaza. Registration will be open from 8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m., and the Conference will run from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. The Coalition for Health Information Technology in New York State is comprised of members of the health care community including health plans, hospitals, physicians, business, representatives from state government and others concerned with improving health care quality and affordability.

On April 27, 2004, President Bush issued an Executive Order calling for half of the physicians in the country to be using fully interoperable electronic health records within the next 10 years. To realize this objective, David Brailer MD, PhD was appointed National Health Information Technology Coordinator and charged with creating health information infrastructure to link electronic health records nationwide. The conference will examine the promise of health information technology improving quality and safety.

Legislature Moving Power for Jobs Legislation

Staff Contact: Ken Pokalsky
Legislation that would restore NYPA's flexibility in extending Power for Jobs (PfJ) contracts, allowing them to take into account criteria such as capital investments, is being taken up by both houses of the Legislature next week. The bills - S.5200 and A.7706 - are on the respective Energy Committee agendas on Tuesday, May 3.

The Power for Jobs program addresses a critical issue for many New York State businesses - the relatively high cost of power. This is of particular concern within the industrial sector, where power-dependent manufacturers rely on low-cost PfJ power to help them remain competitive.

The Business Council believes that retention of our existing manufacturing job base should be a priority of New York's economic development strategy. As such, this legislation will be included as one of the scoring measurements of our "Vote for Jobs Index 2005".

S.5200 memo in support

New Laws Highlight Conference On State Taxation Program

New tax preparer responsibilities and penalties in connection with New York tax shelter provisions enacted as part of the FY2006 State Budget will be addressed, explained, and analyzed at The Business Council's upcoming Conference On State Taxation (COST) June 1 - 3 at the Gideon Putnam in Saratoga Springs. The New York tax shelter provisions are projected to raise $25 million in additional revenue in FY2006; New York responsibilities and penalties will be contrastively delineated with Federal and California law.

New York's Empire Zone Program was extensively revised -- primarily prospectively and to a lesser extent retroactively -- as part of the 2006FY State Budget. These changes, including the new "Valid Business Purpose" requirement, will be reviewed.

The Single Sales Factor Apportionment presentation at the 2001 COST will be reprised in light of the major revamping of New York's Article 9-A and 32 apportionment formulae enacted as part of the 2006FY State Budget.

The 2001 Business Council presentation which will be reprised was:

Single Sales Factor: The Increasingly Prevailing Standard for Income Apportionment

Additional 2005 COST program topics will cover: