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January 30, 2004

Business Council adopts 2004 legislative priorities package

The Business Council has adopted policy priorities for the 2004 legislative session that emphasize opposition to new taxes, support for energy policies that ensure an ample supply of affordable and reliable electricity, workers' compensation reform, steps to improve small businesses' access to affordable health care, and more user-friendly environmental policies.

The broad policy priorities were set by the board in November, 2003. The Council's Government Affairs Council (GAC) approved the detailed agenda on January 20.

“The biggest priority we have is to fight against business tax increases,” said Elliott Shaw, The Council’s director of government affairs. “The Council wants to make it clear to lawmakers that more tax hikes are unacceptable.”

The Council's taxation priorities include fighting the "New Jersey Plan" of tax increases, a possible stock transfer tax, and and a new "pay or play" proposal to tax businesses that do not provide health insurance benefits. Such proposals are already being touted by pressure groups that support higher spending. (For information on new pressure for the New Jersey Plan of business tax increases, please visit www.bcnys.org/whatsnew/2004/0130fpi.htm. For details on the "pay or play" proposal, see www.bcnys.org/whatsnew/2004/0113mcd.htm.)

“We were successful last year in our efforts to fight a proposal pushed by spending advocates that would enact a plan similar to disastrous 2002 legislation in New Jersey,” Shaw said. “The Council will continue to fight this, and any other proposals, that push massive tax hikes onto business in New York.”

The taxation priorities also include:

The Council's priority agenda also includes:

In addition to these policy priorities, The Council’s government affairs staff has prepared a detailed seven-page document that outlines Council priorities on specific pieces of legislation and other specific priorities. That document is at www.bcnys.org/inside/04legprogram.htm.