January 3, 2002
Council's policy advice to Albany: Keep Rolling
To help New York recover from the current recession and from the Sept. 11 terrorist atrocity in New York City, lawmakers in Albany must redouble their commitment to lower taxes, regulatory reforms, and other policies that have produced growth and prosperity in the last half-dozen years.
That's the message The Business Council has put in a new position paper called Keep Rolling. The paper, which briefly outlines The Council's legislative policy priorities for 2002, is being sent to Council members, to Governor Pataki and members and staff of the state Legislature, and to members of the news media.
"We can emerge from these troubles stronger than ever before," The Council says. To do so, it adds, "in 2002, New York must keep rolling, keep working on the basics, and keep thinking about the future."
The Council's top priority for 2002 will be supporting New York City's effort to recover and rebuild, the paper notes.
"New York and the nation must put lower Manhattan back in business, with a 21st Century infrastructure, a strong financial services community, and vibrant small business."
Beyond that, New York needs a stronger-than-ever commitment to work on the basics of its business climate, including lower taxes, reduced costs of creating jobs, and less burdensome regulations.
In particular, New York must resist the temptation to return to policies that undercut recovery during New York's last recession in 1990-91, Keep Rolling added.
"In the last recession, New York raised taxes and delayed tax cuts, thereby prolonging the downturn," the paper said. "We're not going to make the same mistake again."
To secure a strong foundation for future economic growth, the paper says, New York must also improve the performance of its schools and support research and development initiatives at its universities.
Specific legislative priorities outlined in Keep Rolling include:
- Further state tax reform, including repeal of the alternative minimum tax and adoption of single-sales factor corporate taxation.
- A commitment to site more than 9,000 megawatts of new electricity generating capacity within five years, and to make essential upgrades to electricity transmission systems and natural-gas pipelines.
- Reductions to state mandates which inflate the costs of local government and contribute to New York's far-above-average property-tax burden.
- Further efforts to reduce the costs of creating jobs through workers' compensation reform, adoption of tort reform, and efforts to contain the costs of health insurance.
- Unwavering commitment to good and accountable schools through a continued insistence on high standards without exception, and to standardized tests, school report cards, and other ways of evaluating the success of schools, students, and teachers.
- Sustained, multi-year commitments of state investments in high-tech R&D collaborations among university, industry, and government research laboratories in fields with the highest intellectual and economic promise.