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For Release — March 5, 2009

Business Council Calls on State Legislature to Stop Tax Madness

ALBANY— Albany- “When you add it all up, the Governor and Legislature are considering a total of more than $11 billion in new and increased taxes. That's a recipe for crushing our chances for economic recovery. Huge tax increases levied in the middle of this profound economic crisis will have a chilling effect on job growth and consumer confidence in New York – just when we need to move in the other direction,” said Kenneth Adams, president & CEO of The Business Council of New York State.

The taxes under consideration are a personal income tax increase of $6 billion, $4 billion in new taxes and fees proposed by Gov. David Paterson in the Executive Budget and $1.5 billion in a payroll tax within the 12-county MTA region.

“Taken individually these taxes will do great harm to our economy. All together, they are the Death Star,” said Adams. “These taxes are being proposed to maintain spending levels that New York's economy simply cannot afford.”

“Thanks to Wall Street and the financial services sector, state government in New York has been living large. From Fiscal Year 2000 to Fiscal Year 2008, New York's state-funded spending grew 61.5 percent – far ahead of inflation. But the party is over. The legislature must work with the governor to lower spending to affordable levels. And if we want job growth and new business investment, the taxes have to come off the table,” added Adams.

“The Senate Republicans have outlined a plan to balance the budget without tax increases. They also include new economic development tools to create jobs. This is a much better path for New York than more spending and higher taxes,” said Adams.

“If state leaders impose billions in new taxes and use our federal stimulus money to continue spending at past levels, we will face an even greater crisis in the near future. Our leading industry is down and out, and tax revenues across the board have fallen off a cliff. We have to change course immediately,” said Adams.

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