July 22, 1999
As lawmakers near budget agreement, Council makes final push for tax cuts
As lawmakers apparently neared agreement on a state budget, The Business Council began its final push to convince lawmakers to include new tax cuts in the budget.
"Tax cuts these last few years have helped New York's economy a great deal, and we need to keep them coming," said Business Council President Daniel B. Walsh. "As budget talks heat up, we are making this point to lawmakers every chance we get."
Legislative conference committees began meeting July 19 to discuss specific issues, including proposed tax cuts, that must be decided before budget agreement is reached. Council staff members attended virtually all of those meetings.
The decision to start the conference-committee process began after Governor Pataki, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver reportedly agreed to spend $1.1 billion more than Governor Pataki proposed in his original budget.
Council members are still strongly encouraged to communicate with elected officials about the importance of tax cuts by visiting The Business Council's home page, www.bcnys.org. From that page, users can automatically generate detailed letters advocating tax cuts and fax them to key lawmakers and legislative staff.
Since The Business Council began this Web-based "electronic advocacy" project in February, visitors to the site have produced more than 20,000 letters which have been faxed to Albany.
Visitors to The Council's e-advocacy page can select their preferred tax cuts from a list of 15 options. The letters will be sent to Governor Pataki, legislative leaders and chairs of relevant legislative committees, to the users' own elected representatives, and to key legislative and executive-branch staff members.The Council's tax-cut priorities include:
- Reduction in the bank and insurance tax rates to the new level of the general corporate tax rate, 7.5 percent.
- Further reduction of the gross receipts tax and other taxes on energy and telecommunications customers.
- Elimination of the petroleum business tax and the ton mileage tax.
- Further reduction of the alternative minimum tax, which primarily affects manufacturers and the securities industry.
- Expanded sales tax exemptions for investments in telecommunications and broadcasting equipment.
Click here for a summary of tax-cut proposals advanced by legislative leaders for 1999.