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For Release — September 4, 2013

Business Council Urges Tax Relief for New York Businesses
The Council testifies at Senate Tax Policy Hearing

ALBANY, N.Y.— Today, The Business Council of New York State, Inc., highlighted the need for improving New York's business climate and promoting economic growth at a joint hearing on tax policy of the State Senate Finance and Investigations Committee in Albany, N.Y.

“While many factors impact a state's economic performance, taxes are a defining factor,” said Ken Pokalsky, vice president of government affairs for The Business Council. “Tax burdens, together with other business costs, have contributed to slow economic growth in New York, especially upstate.”

Numerous studies show that New York leads the nation in combined state and local tax burdens. Businesses pay approximately 25 percent of all state taxes - and 40 percent of local taxes - for a combined tax burden of 34 percent, according to The Public Policy Institute of New York State, Inc.

The Business Council supports broad based business tax reforms that would improve the state's economic climate. Modernizing business taxes, reducing marginal tax rates, and eliminating the 1.5 percent alternative minimum tax, are among the measures supported.

Manufacturers in particular would benefit from further reductions in the corporate franchise tax and the sunset of the 18-a utility assessment - which adds up to a two-percent surcharge on energy utilities, and was extended in this year's state budget.

Tax reform that improves the way taxes are administered at the state and local level would reduce both business and government tax administration costs. Among The Council's recommendations: centralize administration of local utility gross receipts taxes, improve the real property tax assessment and collection process and make permanent the business taxpayer advocate office within the Department of Taxation and Finance.

Tax credits also play a role in promoting new capital investment and job creation. The Council recommended amendments to several tax credit programs that promote new investment and are implemented on a “pay for performance” basis including, the manufacturing investment tax credit, an expanded research and development credit, and the brownfield program credits.

This was the first in a series of Senate hearings scheduled for September and October. The Council said that in addition to today's recommendations, focusing on the state's main business income tax programs, it would be providing the Senate with additional recommendations regarding the state's personal income tax and sales tax systems.

Read the testimony here: Tax Reform: Reducing Tax Burdens and Promoting Economic Growth.

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The Business Council of New York State, Inc., working to create economic growth, good jobs and strong communities across New York State.