What's New

Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

March 18, 2004

Assembly introduces, with 26 sponsors, health-insurance tax-credit bill

A bill that would give some small businesses a 50 percent health-insurance tax credit, first introduced in the Senate in late February, has now been introduced in the Assembly with 26 sponsors.

The proposal has also gained in momentum in the Senate as 26 members of the Republican majority there have joined prime sponsor Sen. James Seward (R-Oneonta) in sponsoring a bill that would create a health-insurance tax credit for some small businesses.

The bill (S.6332/A.10251), which Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno and Sen. Seward proposed in late February, would create a health-insurance tax credit that would help many businesses with 50 or fewer employees provide health insurance for their employees.

The Business Council strongly supports the bill.

The bill was introduced in the Assembly with Assembly members Joseph Morelle (D-Rochester) and Robin Schimminger (D-Erie County) as prime sponsors. Other Assembly Democrats among the first sponsors of the bill are: Michael A. Benjamin; Adam T. Bradley; Kevin A. Cahill; Ronald J. Canestrari; William Colton; Steven A. Cymbrowitz; Francine DelMonte; RoAnn M. Destito; Luis M. Diaz; Diane Gordon; Alexander J. Gromack; Brian M. Higgins; Dov Hikind; Susan V. John; David R. Koon; John W. Lavelle; William Magee; Joseph D. Morelle; Clarence Norman Jr.; Daniel J. O'Donnell; Felix Ortiz; Audrey I. Pheffer; Annette M. Robinson; Robin L. Schimminger; Frank Seddio; and David S. Sidikman.

The new Senate sponsors of the bill are Senators Mary Lou Rath, James Alesi, John Bonacic, Hugh Farley, John Flanagan, Charles Fuschillo, Nancy Larraine Hoffman, Owen Johnson, Randy Kuhl, William Larkin, Vincent Leibell, Betty Little, George Maziarz, Patricia McGee, Raymond Meier, Olga Mendez, Thomas Morahan, Michael Nozzolio, Joseph Robach, Stephen Saland, Dean Skelos, Caesar Trunzo, Dale Volker, and James Wright.

The tax credit is a key element of a Senate Republican plan to help make health insurance more affordable. The new 43 percent tax credit, combined with an existing health insurance tax deduction, would produce an effective 50 percent tax credit for health insurance costs for businesses with 50 or fewer employees and net earned income of $290,000 or less.

The credit would be phased in over ten years and, when fully implemented, would result in an investment of almost $1.6 billion to provide health insurance coverage for hundreds of thousands of uninsured New Yorkers, the Senate said in a release.

Six states - Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Oregon - currently provide a similar tax credit.