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April 3, 2000

Council supports Assembly Minority's education tax credit plan

The Business Council is urging the state Legislature to support a proposal by Assembly Minority Leader John Faso to provide an education tax credit to offset education costs from kindergarten through college.

The proposal is part of the Assembly Minority's $1.4 billion "family and jobs tax cut package" announced March 15. The plan, which would be phased in over three years, includes $659 million in business tax relief and $710 million in income tax relief.

The Assembly Minority plan addresses several top Business Council priorities, including: repeal of the state's gross receipts tax (GRT) on energy; a change in the basis of taxation for financial services firms' transactions, from the address of the firm to the address of the customer; extending the state's Power for Jobs program; and eliminating the state's ton-mileage tax and using increased truckers' registration fees to partially offset lost revenues.

The education credit would be worth $1500 per student or a maximum of $3000 per eligible family for students from kindergarten through college.

"Education is the single most important factor in a person's ability to live a happy and productive life," Business Council President Daniel B. Walsh said in a March 29 letter to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

"This in turn is the basis for a healthy society and strong economy for New York State. We all want to help families provide that solid base for their children, and education tax credits would enhance their ability to do so," he added.

The plan would also: double the dependent exemption from $1,000 to $2,000; eliminate local authorization to impose additional local gross receipts taxes; eliminate the petroleum business tax on commercial heating oil; suspend the diesel motor fuel tax from April through Labor Day of this year; exempt from state sales tax all property and services used for daily operation of farms effective March 1 2000; and suspend the state tax on motor and diesel fuel from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends.