For Release — Sept. 17, 2009
Business Council says unemployment and state revenue numbers show need to cut state spending
ALBANY— “Today's grim employment report from the state Department of Labor shows the urgent need for Albany leaders to fix the growing state budget deficit by reducing state spending,” according to Kenneth Adams, president & CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc.
“With state-wide unemployment rising to nine percent – the highest since 1983 – government must reduce the burden on taxpayers and let the New York economy breathe again,” he said. “Private sector job growth is the key to economic recovery and that should be the top priority of state government.”
And while unemployment goes up, Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli reports that state revenue collections continue to fall short of projections. August personal income tax receipts were down $83 million from a year ago, despite a 31 percent increase in the marginal rate for higher-income taxpayers. And August sales and use tax receipts were down $98 million from a year ago despite the expected boost in auto sales from the federal “Cash for Clunkers” program.
“The strategy of raising taxes to maintain unsustainable levels of state spending has not worked. We have lost over 200,000 jobs in New York State in the past year,” added Adams. “To revitalize New York, the state's leaders must do everything they can to encourage private sector job growth. That means making tough choices and reducing levels of state spending that our economy simply cannot afford.”