Business Council statement on final enacted budget


Director of Communications

ALBANY, N.Y.—“First, we want to thank the Senate Majority for listening to our members and taxpayers across the state in holding the line against several billion in proposed tax and fee increases. We still believe New York State spends too much with unsatisfactory results, especially in education and Medicaid. Increasing taxes would only exacerbate those spending issues.

Policy-wise the budget is a mixed-bag for New York’s employers. While we’re encouraged by the continued funding for workforce development programs, there needs to be transparency, accountability and employer engagement with any workforce development program. If the state is serious about addressing the skills gap, employers need to be involved and there need to be transparent outcomes published for all workforce development programs.

We will maintain our wait-and-see approach to the state’s SALT-mitigation plan. In our own discussions with employers we did not receive positive feedback on the payroll tax proposal, although we do appreciate that the final language made it optional. The effect of the charitable giving gambit is ultimately dependent on IRS determination as to its deductibility.

As we prepare for the rest of the session, one of the key issues the Governor and the Legislature need to address is a more complete response on federal tax conformity. We must de-couple in additional areas where not doing so would lead to stealth tax increases on already over-taxed New Yorkers. We are encouraged that both the Legislature and the Administration have taken initial steps in this budget for both individual and business taxpayers.

We also see the temporary extension of the state’s MWBE program as allowing more time to evaluate the current program and the existing capacity of MWBEs to participate in state contracts. The program, while necessary, is not operating the way it should. Artificial benchmarks are holding MWBEs back and stifling economic development throughout the state.

Finally, we are deeply disappointed that the state chose to preemptively react to the U.S. Supreme Court’s review of Janus v. AFSCME before the Court issued its ruling, by sharply limiting public employees’ discretion to join or quit unions. Employee choice is vital to a properly-functioning democracy.”

-This statement is attributed to Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc.