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Government Affairs Albany Update

February 16, 2007

GAC Budget Briefing

As you know, we held a special GAC meeting this past Tuesday focusing on business issues in the Executive Budget proposal. Below you will find links to the power point presentations (in pdf format) that were presented during the meeting by guest speakers and Business Council staff.

We hope this information will be helpful as you assess company-specific issues and impacts. Please feel free to contact the appropriate Business Council staff person if you would like additional information on budget issues. Business Council staff can be reached at (518) 465-7511, and Kim Fine at (518) 473-4333.

Click on the person's name to view their presentation.


Business Council staff:

Administration Appointments

Governor Spitzer announced several addition key administration appointments this week. They include:

You can find information on all gubernatorial appointments online at:

Health Insurance Coverage Hearing

The Assembly Committees on Insurance, Health and Labor will be conducting a joint hearing on "How to increase health insurance coverage in New York State". There will be two session: Friday, March 9 at 10:00 a.m. in the Assembly Hearing Room, 19th Floor, 250 Broadway, New York City, and Thursday, April 19, at 10:00 a.m. in the City Council Chamber, Rochester City Hall, which is located at 30 Church Street in Rochester.

These hearings seek to determine what steps the state should take to ensure that New Yorkers have access to the health care system and taht the costs of health care are fairly and efficiently distributed. Oral testimony will be limited to 10 minutes in length, and all testimony will be under oath.

Request to speak options:

Business Tax Revenues Are Up Without Tax Increases

As part of our response to business tax proposals included in the Executive Buget, Business Council staff has reviewed recent business tax data. New York State business-tax receipts are up sharply in recent years by 77 percent, or $2.5 billion, from fiscal 2005 to the current year.

More than $1 billion of the total represents increased receipts from audits of businesses' tax returns by the Department of Taxation and Finance. From fiscal 2003 to fiscal 2005, audit receipts for business taxes ranged from $328 million to $497 million, according to the state Budget Division. Such revenues jumped to $1.1 billion in fiscal 2006, and to an estimated $1.5 billion in the current fiscal year.

“This growth can be attributed to a combination of policy actions adopted over the past few years and improved performance of the Department of Taxation and Finance in identifying and concluding productive audits,” the Economic and Revenue Outlook section of Governor Spitzer's Executive Budget reports.

Business Council staff continue to seek information from member companies and chambers of commerce on the impact the Executive Budget tax proposals would have on employers. The Budget Division estimates the total cost to taxpayers at close to $600 million a year.