Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

For Release — January 7, 2009

Statement by Kenneth Adams, president & CEO of The Business Council on the State of the State

ALBANY— “The Business Council supports Gov. David Paterson's call for government reform to provide taxpayers relief, specifically the property tax cap, mandate relief and efforts to make local governments more efficient.

We also look forward to working with the Governor on public-private partnerships to maximize state assets.

We will support the Governor's efforts to secure federal stimulus funding for infrastructure projects.
The Governor is also right when he says New York must remove unnecessary taxes and regulations to encourage private investment in the state.

We also agree that the state needs to invest in energy and reduce energy costs.

While we welcome the opportunity to work with the Governor on a new economic development strategy, The Business Council continues to oppose his plan to change the rules of the game for companies already receiving Empire Zone benefits. Not only will this proposal damage those companies and their employees, it will have a chilling effect on future economic development efforts.

While we agree with much of the Governor's rhetoric in the State of the State, we are concerned his proposed budget has too little in spending cuts and imposes $3.5 billion in permanent tax and fee increases, which adversely affect businesses and individuals alike. For example, The Business Council also opposes the “soda tax” on non-diet soft drinks. This tax punishes one segment of the market.”