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For Release — December 19, 2017

Business Council statement on federal tax bill

ALBANY, N.Y.—“The tax reform package expected to pass later today corrects years of inequity by putting America’s corporate tax rate on more equal footing with the rest of the world’s developed countries. It also relieves tax burdens on our nation’s small businesses and lowers tax rates for all income levels. It is welcome news that the majority of New Yorkers will see tax cuts beginning next year. Unfortunately, the loss of full State and Local Tax deductibility (SALT) means high earners in high-tax states like ours will see their overall tax burden increase significantly, with potential adverse consequences for the state’s economy. Our state’s budget will also be impacted, as the departure of even a small number of high earners will have a negative impact on state revenues. Given these uncertainties, and already forecasted state budget deficits, it is time for New York’s leaders to take a hard look at our spending relative to other states. There is no reason why our Medicaid expenses should exceed those of Texas and Florida combined. Similarly, we need to reassess our education spending and determine why our state is one of the leaders in per-pupil spending, yet falls toward the middle and bottom of the pack in most assessments. Lawmakers must also look at areas where we have policies that stifle economic growth, innovation and job creation. Reforming items like the Scaffold Law, prevailing wage mandates and others will allow our state to blunt the impact of the coming loss in personal income tax revenue and put us on more equal footing with other states. We also call on our leaders at the state and national levels to demand New York receive more of its fair share of federal spending. Currently, we are a donor state, contributing nearly $50 billion more in taxes than we receive. This tax reform legislation will make that disparity even worse. New York has many great things to offer. From world-class public and private higher education institutions, a diverse workforce, abundant water resources, and much more – we are well-positioned to compete against our fellow states. All we need to do is stop getting in our own way.”

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

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