For Release — March 23, 2015
As State budget deadline nears, The Business Council presses positions
ALBANY, N.Y.—With less than two weeks left before the April 1 deadline for passage of New York State’s Fiscal 2015-16 state budget, The Business Council of New York State, Inc. continues to press its positions on items contained in the Governor’s Executive Budget and the recently passed State Senate and State Assembly one-house budget proposals. These proposals and the Governor’s Executive Budget comprise the basis for final budget negotiations that are underway.
“The next few days are extremely important for economic growth and job creation across the state due to the number of items under consideration,” said Heather C. Briccetti, president and CEO of The Business Council. “On behalf of our members we are closely following many proposals that represent opportunities for the Legislature and the Governor to keep New York moving forward in a positive direction and other proposals that, if adopted, will represent significant setbacks to recent progress that has improved the state’s business climate.”
Among the proposals The Business Council supports are:
- A provision in the Senate budget calling for the full repeal of the 18-a temporary assessment on electricity, which adds millions of dollars in costs to all residential and commercial electric rates across the state. The cost of repealing 18-A could be financed by use of bank settlement funds.
- Updating the New York City general corporation tax to conform with changes made last year to the state corporation tax. This would be a very helpful change to businesses that file both state and city tax returns.
- Permitting individuals who are not Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) to participate in the ownership of accounting firms. This practice is currently allowed in forty-seven states. New York’s outdated restrictions put in-state firms at a disadvantage when it comes to recruiting and retaining top talent, such as IT experts, data analysts and others that complement a firm’s accountancy practice.
- Extending and reforming the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) to continue critical environmental cleanup and redevelopment projects across the state. The BCP has proven to be a catalyst for private-sector investment in the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties with every state tax credit dollar matched by $6.78 in private dollars. Since 2007, the BCP has resulted in more than $7 billion in private investment.
- Extending and expanding the use of “design build” for public projects. The Design-Build Institute of America estimates that on average design-build projects are completed thirty-three percent faster and can save up to six percent on cost.
- And adopting additional education reforms to improve educational outcomes, expanding school choice and funding a third round of P-TECH partnerships.
“In addition to opportunities to create jobs and grow the state’s economy, there are measures under discussion that our members view as potential setbacks,” said Briccetti.
Among the proposals The Business Council opposes are:
- Establishing a statewide Family Medical Leave program that would apply to all businesses with 25 or more employees which would increase both direct and indirect costs to businesses.
- Increasing the current minimum wage that research suggests will likely result in a reduction in jobs for young, low-skilled workers based on studies of past minimum wage increases.
- Proposals that would sharply limited political advocacy spending by corporations and LLCs, and to require taxpayers to finance political campaigns.
- And increasing taxes and fees on health insurance plans, mobile telephone providers and facilities with environmental permits all of which add to the cost of doing business in the state.
About The Business Council of New York State, Inc.
The Business Council is the leading business organization in the state. It represents the interests of public and private companies, colleges and universities, local and regional chambers of commerce and professional and trade associations across the state.
The primary function of the organization is to serve as an advocate for employers in the state political and policy-making arena, working for a healthier business climate, economic growth, and jobs.
The mission of The Business Council is to create economic growth, good jobs and strong communities across New York State.