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For Release — December 16, 2008

Business Council says proposed tax increases would damage economy

ALBANY— With New York's economy already weak, billions of dollars in new and increased taxes as proposed in Gov. David Paterson's Executive Budget proposal would make things worse, according to The Business Council of New York State.

“Taxing everything from health insurance to soft drinks to clothing will make life much harder on employers trying to retain and create jobs, and on working New Yorkers trying to make ends meet in this bad economy,” said Kenneth Adams, president and CEO of The Business Council.

“At a time when health care costs continue to skyrocket, employers, especially small business, will be hit hard by increased taxes on health insurance and health care services,” added Adams. “These taxes hit the people who pay the premiums, in most cases employers and their employees. Health care and health insurance costs in New York are already sky-high. Loading on new taxes will make it unaffordable for many businesses and force them to drop coverage.”

“The ‘soda tax' is nothing but a new sales tax that singles out one product category. Singling out one beverage or food product for higher taxes makes no sense,” said Adams.

“The state needs to focus first and foremost on controlling government spending. New York is facing this fiscal crisis because it has spent too much and taxed too much for far too long. Placing new onerous tax burdens on individual industries or sectors, many of which are already under great financial stress in this economy, is the wrong response. It will dig New York into an even deeper hole in terms of our competitive position with other states,” concluded Adams.

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