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For Release — Thursday, November 20, 2003

SURVEY: HUGE MAJORITY OF NEW YORK BUSINESSES SAY HIGH TAXES,
HIGH COSTS OF JOB CREATION HURT THEIR OPERATIONS
Council chairman: Survey results are 'an alarm that Albany cannot ignore'

ALBANY—A huge majority of New York State employers say the state's high taxes and high costs of health insurance, workers' compensation, and electricity are hurting their ability to do business, a new Business Council survey of New York employers shows.

"This message from employers is an alarm that Albany cannot ignore," said Heidi Nauleau, chairman of the Aarque Companies of Jamestown, Chautauqua County, and chairman of The Business Council. "New York's employers clearly believe that New York must do more to address cost issues at the core of our economic competitiveness.

"Past improvements in our business climate have not been enough to give our businesses the sound economic footing they need to compete," she added. "Albany must do more."

The survey, which addressed a wide range of issues that affect business conditions in New York, was mailed to Business Council members in September. There were 590 responses to the mailed survey, a response rate of 11 percent. In October, The Council also posted the survey on its Web page and invited other associations to suggest that their members complete it. All told, there were 628 responses.

The survey showed how employers perceive the effects of a range of costs. For example:

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