For Release — March 12, 20018
Business Council opposes tax and fee increases in 2018-19 budget
Calls for decoupling from federal tax law in key areas and opposes the creation of new taxes on business
ALBANY, N.Y.—With state lawmakers returning to the Capitol and preparing to pass their one-house budget resolutions, The Business Council of New York State, Inc. today reminded lawmakers of its 2018 legislative priorities and affirmed its opposition to more than one billion dollars in tax and fee increases in the Executive Budget.
“As we enter the final negotiations for the 2018-19 New York State budget, we remind lawmakers that the state’s business community is strongly opposed to any tax and fee increases and the creation of a new tax on businesses,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. “We believe the way to move New York’s economy forward is not by increasing our already heavy tax burden, but by reexamining our current spending levels, especially in education and Medicaid. No longer can we afford to be extreme outliers in regards to the money we expend for these programs or in the often disproportionate results we achieve.”
While The Business Council will work hard to ensure our entire Legislative Agenda is achieved, we will maintain a particular focus on the following areas:
The state should not increase taxes or fees to balance its FY 2019 budget. We note that the Executive Budget projects increased business tax revenues of more than $1 billion, driven primarily by growth and increased profits. In addition, we urge the legislature to address areas where federal tax reforms would result in inadvertent increases in state tax liability, and reject proposals for New York to claim some portion of business’ federal tax cut.
- Address federal conformity issues so that state individuals and businesses are not hit with unintended tax increases. To that end, we:
- Support the Governor’s PIT decoupling proposal;
- Oppose the payroll tax proposal as drafted. We could be neutral if it remains a taxpayer election, and unworkable/unnecessary provisions are addressed;
- Oppose the creation of a new unincorporated business tax;
- Are neutral on the proposal to create charitable funds at the state and local level; their viability will depend on IRS determination of deductibility, and;
- Support legislation to amend Article 9A to avoid unintended increases in state tax liability, including provisions related to foreign earnings, caps on business interest deductibility, taxation of state economic development assistance, and others.
- We oppose targeted tax increases proposed in the Executive Budget, including:
- Health plan surcharge;
- Tax credit deferrals, especially for brownfields and manufacturing-specific credits;
- New fees on right of way usage;
- Pharma tax on opioids, and;
- Repeal of ESCO sales tax exemption.
- Address manufacturing-specific issues, including:
- The industrial sector will be impacted by several tax credit deferrals, including the investment tax credit and the credit for property taxes paid on manufacturing facilities;
- Amending specific provisions of New York State tax law supporting the manufacturing sector to avoid unintended effects of federal tax reform.
- Action regarding the “marketplace providers” sales tax proposal should be deferred until after the US Supreme Court rules on Wayfair v. South Dakota.
- We do not support authorization for the Tax Commissioner to appeal decisions of the Tax Tribunal.
MWBE/GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT/PUBLIC WORKS
- We support extension of a workable MWBE program and measures to expand MWBE capacity; we oppose the Executive Budget proposal as introduced.
- It is essential that contract-specific targets reflect actual regional MWBE capacity, and be set through a transparent process.
- Any extension legislation should also create a workable workforce utilization reporting program, replacing the provisions of EO 162.
- Provisions regarding sexual harassment reporting by contractors should be amended to provide clear and workable standards.
- We support expansion of design build authority, without a mandate for PLAs.
- We support the proposal to expedite temporary positions within ITS requiring special expertise or qualifications in information technology.
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT/EDUCATION ISSUES
- We support the Governor’s initiative for investments in workforce development and creation of a new office of workforce development. We support statutory language that defines the new office, and sets criteria and processes for funding workforce projects. We do not support inclusion of new workforce funding in the annual REDC funding cycle.
- Of the Executive Budget education funding proposals, we support:
- Funding for early college high schools and the “smart start” program (to expand high‐quality computer science and engineering education);
- An increase in charter school tuition in alignment with public school spending;
- Increased funding for Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) program support, and;
- Pre-K expansion.
BUSINESS REGULATION & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
- We strongly support provisions allowing for non-CPA minority ownership of CPA firms, as supporting a major component of the state’s financial service sector.
- We oppose the provision to prohibit employers from requiring, as a condition of employment, contracts restricting employees’ ability to file claims for sexual harassment.
- We will be offering amendments to the proposal for improved management of food wastes.
- We support the extension of authorization for autonomous vehicle testing in the state.
- We support Executive Budget provisions to modify the existing forestry property tax law and create a new property tax incentive for privately owned forests and open space.
- We strongly oppose any effort to include in the Budget an expansion of prevailing wage mandates to private sector projects receiving economic development assistance.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE & ETHICS REFORM
- We oppose unilateral restrictions on private sector campaign contributions.
- We do not support taxpayer-financed campaign funding.