After five straight years of tax cuts, the drive for more has begun


Director of Communications

The Business Council is asking the state's elected leaders to set their sights on further business tax cuts in 1999-and is soliciting business leaders' ideas on where the next round of tax reductions should focus.

Council President Daniel B. Walsh wrote Governor Pataki and legislative leaders this week, urging continued efforts to cut New York's still-high taxes.

Despite "truly impressive progress" in recent years, "our tax burden is still, in many ways, uncompetitive," Walsh wrote.

The Council's work during this year's legislative session helped produce a major reduction in the corporate tax rate-from 9 to 7.5 percent, taking effect over four years-and other important business tax reforms.

Key tax cuts enacted in recent years, with The Council's strong support, also include personal income tax reductions averaging 20 percent or more; repeal of the state's added estate tax; and reduction of the gross receipts tax on energy utility bills.

For 1999, The Council is asking the Governor and legislative leaders to consider:

  • Applying the tax rate reduction enacted this year to all industries, including banks and insurers.
  • Eliminating unintended tax increases on energy bills that will result from the state-ordered restructuring of the electric industry.
  • Enacting further reductions in the gross receipts tax, petroleum business tax and truck mileage tax.
  • Accelerating full implementation of this year's business tax reductions to the year 2000, rather than 2002 as in current law.
  • Encouraging growth in research and development, by omitting R&D salaries from the payroll factor in the tax formula.

Walsh also suggested a major marketing campaign to "let the world know that New York is changing" by cutting taxes sharply.

In addition, he said, "We have begun intensive exploration of various other proposals to modernize our tax code for the new millennium. Our goal is to set an agenda for the next four years that will be every bit as ambitious and successful as the last four years."