This Week in Government Affairs
October 5, 2016
- Tax Foundation Business Tax Climate Report
Based on tax reforms championed by The Business Council and enacted in 2014, the Tax Foundation rates New York’s corporate tax climate as 7th best in the nation, as shown in their 2016 state business tax climate report issued last week. This was the lone bright spot for New York, with its overall ranking at 49th, ahead of only New Jersey. It is likely that New York’s rating will improve further, as the personal income tax reforms adopted in 2016 are implemented. In this year’s report, based on a “snapshot” of tax laws as they applied mid-year, New York was rated 49th for the PIT, 43rd for sales tax, 32nd for unemployment insurance taxes, and 47th for the real property tax. The Tax Foundation stresses they are rating the states’ tax structure, not tax burden, and their ratings are driven by a tax policy preference for a broad tax base and low tax rate. While some state score well because they don’t impose at least one of the taxes included in the rating, the Foundation notes that states including Utah, Indiana, Utah and North Carolina (rated 8th, 10th and 11th, respectively) impose all five tax types but still score relatively well. Staff contact: email@example.com.
- Gift card legislation approved – Governor Cuomo recently signed into law legislation incorporating the disclosure provisions of the federal law (Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act) and expanding the rights of consumers by extending the dormancy period from one year to two years before a service fee can be assessed (Chapter 329 of the Laws of 2016). Also added were additional protections for the cardholder whereby the fees will be waived and the card returned to its full value if used within three years of issuance.
The Business Council supported the legislation as a fair approach to providing not only protections for the consumer but also for the businesses who do incur costs for both the production and maintenance of these types of cards.
- Proposed cybersecurity regulations
The Department of Financial Services has proposed regulations requiring the establishment and maintenance of a cybersecurity program for entities that operate under a license, registration, charter, certificate, permit, accreditation or similar authorization under the banking law, insurance law or the financial services law.
The proposal raises many concerns, as it requires regulated financial institutions to: establish a cybersecurity program; adopt a written cybersecurity policy; designate a chief information security officer responsible for implementing, overseeing and enforcing its new program and policy; and implementing policies and procedures designed to ensure the security of information systems and nonpublic information accessible to, or held by, third-parties; and a variety of other requirements to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information systems. The proposed regulation is subject to a 45-day notice and public comment period prior to final issuance. The proposed regulation is available for review here. Staff contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Draft revised Common Core standards
The New York State Education Department (SED) recently released new draft P-12 ELA and Math Learning Standards for public comment, based on recommendations from parents, teachers and the public-at-large on the state’s learning standards. The majority of the standards are left intact in the new draft, and The Business Council will be submitting comments in support of the revisions prior to the November 4 deadline for comments. Click here to view SED’s press release announcing the draft, which includes links to the revised ELA and math standards.
- Hire a Hero Initiative
The Yonkers Department of Veterans’ Services and Empire City Casino are hosting a Veterans Job Fair on Thursday, November 17, from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., at The Good Time Room at Empire City Casino (Third Floor) in Yonkers, New York. Empire City Casino is fully subsidizing the cost of the job fair for hiring employers who have current, open positions with immediate availability.
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