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For Release — Wednesday, February 15, 2006

IN TESTIMONY, COUNCIL REMINDS LAWMAKERS THAT TAX CUTS HAVE SPURRED
JOB GROWTH IN THE PAST—AND CAN DELIVER THE SAME BENEFITS AGAIN


ALBANY—The state has improved its job growth in the past by reducing the tax burden on New Yorkers, and a current job-growth record that is only about half as good as the nation's should prompt state lawmakers to reduce taxes again, Daniel B. Walsh, president/CEO of The Business Council, said in legislative testimony today.

Because you cut taxes, working people are better off. Let’s keep it up,” Walsh told the Senate Finance Committee and the Assembly Ways and Means Committee at an Albany hearing.

Walsh noted that much has changed since the early 1990s, when “it was still acceptable to deny that New York had economic problems significantly different from those of other states.

“The suggestion was that, if we were losing jobs, it was only because the national economy was not doing well. There were bitter debates over whether the nation’s highest taxes, and other high business costs, made it harder for working people here to find good jobs.”

Today, in contrast, it is widely recognized that New York’s high taxes and high job-creation costs have slowed the pace of job creation compared to other states, Walsh noted. And since 1994, he added, the state Legislature and Governor Pataki have made New York more competitive by reducing personal income taxes, business taxes, and other taxes.

He cited the Bruno-Morelle initiative in 1994 that led to elimination of the 15 percent corporate tax surcharge.

“In the five years before that happened, New York had lost 443,000 jobs,” the testimony said. “Since then, as you and Governor Pataki have cut taxes, we’ve gained 762,000 jobs. Quite a turnaround.”

Nonetheless today's job-growth rate in New York is only about half as good as the nation's, and the state has still not regained all the jobs lost in the 2001 recession and the Sept. 11 atrocity.

Walsh urged lawmakers to take several specific actions:

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