May 9, 2001
Senator Bruno renews his call for $2.2 billion in new tax cuts
Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno Wednesday convened a meeting of the Joint Legislative Budget General Conference Committee and renewed his call for $2.2 billion in new tax cuts.
No Senate or Assembly Democrats on the conference committee attended the meeting.
The Senate's package won approval of the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday. It may be considered by the full Senate as soon as next week.
Business-related tax cuts: The plan includes business-related tax cuts. Specifically, it would:
- Adopt the "single-sales factor" for calculating corporate taxes for manufacturers, biotechnology firms, and taxpayers that produce computer software. The single-sales factor is The Council's top tax-cut priority this year.
- Provide $45 million in targeted tax relief for biotechnology employers. This is part of GEN*NY*SIS, a Senate proposal that calls for $500 million in combined public and private investments in biotechnology R&D to promote growth in this sector.
- Phase out the alternative minimum tax ($50 million), which undermines the economic development value of tax credits intended to foster economic development.
- Encourage the cleaning of Superfund sites by dedicating corporate tax revenues to that end.
- Expand the state's 52 Empire Zones and create 14 new ones. In zones, employers can get tax credits and other benefits if they create jobs there.
- Extend the state's investment tax credit to include leased equipment. (Estimated annual savings: $55 million.)
- Eliminate the minimum tax on the net value of capital stock for telecommunications companies.
- Repeal the petroleum business tax on kero-jet fuel ($10 million).
- Create a credit against corporate taxes for 10 percent of eligible small businesses' costs of employee health insurance premiums. ($235 million).
- Create tax credits for smaller biotech firms ($20 million).
- Create a high-tech job retraining credit for small businesses ($10 million).
The Senate has also urged repeal of the sales tax on gasoline and diesel fuel. Assembly Minority Leader John Faso has also urged this tax cut.
Other proposed tax cuts: As gasoline prices in recent weeks have increase, the Senate has increased its emphasis on the need to eliminate the sales tax on gasoline and diesel fuel. Assembly Minority Leader John Faso has also urged this tax cut.
Bruno said the Senate plan would save consumers 8 cents a gallon if, as expected, gas prices reach $2 a gallon this summer. Total savings for New York motorists would reach $400 million under this plan, he estimated.
The Senate plan would also:
- Eliminate the sate sales tax on home energy conservation products like insulation, caulking, thermal windows, and furnaces.
- Repeal the gross receipts tax (GRT) on home energy.
- Create a Home Energy Assistance Tax Credit to help low-income New Yorkers pay rising energy bills.