2006 TELECOMMUNICATIONS LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM
Following is The Business Council's 2006 Legislative Program. It identifies priority issues to be addressed by the Committees and Councils during 2006.
Actively promote public policy, regulatory and tax reform to encourage increased investment and competition in New York's telecommunications and information technology industries.
- Support clarifying language to affirm the Public Service Commission's (PSC) ability to grant freedom to companies to flexibly price services as required by the competitive markets, and to de-tariff optional, discretionary non-basic telecommunications services.
- Avoid onerous new statutory or regulatory burdens on landline and wireless telecommunications service providers (e.g., oppose TTY give-away programs, oppose free non-published directory listings for any customer, oppose reduced pricing for independent payphone providers, oppose service quality penalties, etc.)
- Support policies that promote unfettered access to multi-tenant buildings and the public right-of-way.
- Oppose legislation that would change the state right of way protections provided under state transportation corporation law.
- Oppose publicly funded, built and operated telecommunications networks.
- Support legislation that would set a uniform statewide process for municipal review of the siting and construction of wireless service facilities.
- Assure full recovery of expenses incurred by PSC-regulated entities in response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, including costs related to provision of emergency utility service, site cleanup, personnel expenses and the replacement of buildings, facilities and equipment, as well as costs necessary to enhance the security of utility services.
- Support legislation which makes it a felony for interfering with a person's ability to connect with an emergency service by intentionally damaging telecommunications facilities.
- Oppose legislation that attempts to secure Anti-Joint Bidding legislation.
- Support legislation which provides for "Joint-Bidding."
- Oppose legislation that would allow a municipal corporation to recover damages caused by acts of nature or similar unforeseen circumstances from telecommunication, wireless and cable companies.
- Support legislation that would establish an effective and cost-efficient statewide wireless emergency telecommunication system.
- Oppose legislation that would regulate service quality standards of telecommunication corporations.
- Eliminate restrictions applicable to promotional new product offerings by telecommunications companies.
- Support incentives in the form of tax reforms for businesses that deploy fiber optic cables used in the deployment of broadband technology.
- Amend the gross receipts and sales taxes on telecommunications services to conform to national, uniform sourcing rules for determining in which jurisdiction a transaction occurs for tax purposes and clarify the tax treatment of charges for telecommunications aggregated with nontaxable charges for telecommunications.
- Support legislation that would apply existing statutory reductions of section 183-3 of the tax law to all telecommunications carriers. Current law penalizes corporations that pay dividends on the par value of capital stock in the amount of six percent or more and have more than one million access lines.
- Support the consolidation & simplification of remittance filings to streamline local tax payments.
- Continue expansion of the current Section 115 (12A) sales and use tax exemption for telecommunications equipment to include testing, training, billing and other ancillary equipment, and energy required for providing telecommunication services.
- Oppose legislation which increases or imposes new surcharges on telecommunications companies and their customers which fund social programs, and state or local government.
- Support legislation that eliminates the Gross Receipts Tax (GRT) - section 186a of Article 9 of the NYS Tax Law applicable to revenues of utilities subjected to the supervision of the Public Service Commission.
- Support legislation which would reform Article 9 taxation and reduce the tax burden on telecommunication customers.
- Property taxes paid by New York's telecommunication corporations are excessive when compared to parallel corporations in other states and other corporations within New York. Given the adverse impact of this disparity on New York's competitive position, we support appropriate legislation to ameliorate this unfair burden borne by telecommunication corporations and their customers to achieve equity and parity with other state's in the country.
- Support legislation which immediately removes all telecommunication services from taxation under gross earnings (§184 of the New York State Tax Law).
- Support an investment tax credit to provide companies with a deduction for leased equipment.