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For Release — November 24, 2008

Business Council Members Stress Need to Reduce the Cost-of-Doing-Business in New York

ALBANY—New York state employers responding to a Business Council survey have once again overwhelmingly identified employee health care as their top cost-of-doing-business concern. The new survey also showed strong employer concern about energy and business taxes.

The survey findings will determine the priorities the Council will work on with Governor David Paterson and the Legislature in 2009,” said Kenneth Adams, president and CEO of the Business Council, “And they help provide us with a clear direction and key objectives as we push to improve the business climate in New York.”

The survey, which the Council conducted in October, asked individuals at member employers to rank various public-policy issues within each of three areas: cost-of-doing business issues; economic development issues; and governmental reform issues.

Cost-of-doing-business issues
Members reported that cost-of-doing business issues were far and away the most important advocacy area for them. Over two-thirds of members said this was the most important area on which The Business Council should concentrate, and 80 percent said it was one of the top two. Economic development issues were next, followed by government reform. The top five issues raised by members in the cost-of-doing-business section of the survey were: health insurance for employees, energy costs, New York state taxes on businesses, local property taxes on businesses, and New York state taxes on individuals.

Economic development
The top three issues selected by members as the most important under economic development were economic development programs and incentives, workforce development and innovation, science and technology. One out of every four members listed economic development programs and incentives as their top economic development priority. Nearly half of those surveyed ranked economic-development programs within their top four priorities in this category.

Government reform
The top two issues selected by members as the most important under government reform were consolidation of local government or local government services and governmental debt and public authority reform. More then 41 percent of respondents selected consolidation of local governments or local government services as their top reform priority and more than 60 percent said governmental debt and public authority reform was one of their top two reform issues.

The Council polled more than 4000 members electronically. The returns were broadly representative of the Council's membership in terms of size, type of business and location, and cross-tabulations found that the issue rankings were broadly consistent regardless of the size or type of company represented in responses.

This is a second in a series of electronic member surveys conduct by The Business Council of New York State.