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For Release — April 1, 2015

For The Business Council “less is more” in state budget

ALBANY—The State Legislature has enacted a fifth consecutive low-growth and on-time budget that avoids imposing significant new costs and mandates on private sector business.

“For our members, this is a “less is more” state budget with continued discipline on state spending,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq. president and CEO of The Business Council.

The budget agreement contains several important actions supported by The Business Council including:

Importantly, the final budget agreement rejected several proposals to impose new costs and mandates on business, including increased taxes on health plans, additional increases in the state’s minimum wage, and a new mandate for paid family leave.

“There are also lost opportunities, as the budget failed to address proposals that would further improve the state’s business climate,” Briccetti said.

Briccetti cited the failure to reach agreement on full repeal the Section 18-a temporary assessment on electricity, which adds millions of dollars in costs to all residential and commercial electric rates across the state. The Business Council urged the Legislature to finance the repeal through the use of bank settlement funds. There was also no final agreement on reforms permitting non-CPAs to participate in the ownership of accounting firms, a practice currently allowed in forty-seven states, and whose absence in New York put in-state firms at a disadvantage when it comes to recruiting and retaining top talent.

Briccetti also reiterated concerns with increased regulatory permit fees that would impose significantly increased costs on power generators and manufacturers.

With many items removed from the Executive Budget proposal, the remaining three months of the Legislative Session will be extremely important ones for economic growth and job creation across the state.

Extending the state’s real property tax cap, which has saved New Yorkers an estimated $11 billion since it was enacted in 2011, is among The Business Council’s post-budget priorities. The Business Council will also continue its opposition to other costly mandates such as paid family leave and a higher minimum wage.

“On behalf of our members, we will continue to focus on opportunities for the Legislature and the Governor to keep New York moving in a positive direction, and resist other proposals that, if adopted, will impose new costs and burdens on private sector employers and reverse recent improvements in the state’s business climate.”