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For Release — March 29, 2013

Business Council statement on the new state budget

ALBANY—"For the first time in three decades New Yorkers are seeing the passage of three consecutive on-time budgets. Governor Cuomo, the State Senate and the State Assembly have once again worked together to produce a budget that limits spending to less than 2 percent while closing a $1.3 billion gap between projected revenues and spending - which the Business Council strongly supports.

This budget includes a number of tax incentives and reforms that The Business Council advocated for, including the phase-in of a 25 percent reduction on the corporate franchise tax rate on manufacturers. It also includes unemployment insurance reforms which will provide much needed stability to the unemployment system and give businesses a clearer way to manage their unemployment insurance costs, while restoring the state's Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund to long-term solvency.

The budget also adds to the cost of doing business by extending assessments on electric, natural gas and steam energy (a total of $1.5 billion), and by increasing the minimum wage - a measure whose impact will be felt by many businesses, with total cost estimates as high as $2 billion per year. Though the budget includes a minimum wage tax credit for students that mitigates the adverse impact on employers, The Business Council would have preferred a straightforward training wage. And, while the final agreement on both of these measures is an improvement over the original proposals, they are not consistent with a strategy to promote economic growth and the creation of good-paying jobs.

We look forward to continuing our work with the Governor and Legislature to stabilize and improve New York's economy while creating new jobs."

- Heather Briccetti, president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc.