The Business Council of New York State, Inc. supports S.4260 (Ritchie)/A.6024 (Magee), the "Let NY Farm Act" for its efforts to decrease some of the regulatory burdens that prevent additional growth of one of New York's largest industries.
New York's landscape and natural resources have made this state a perfect place for various types of farms to flourish. Today New York boasts over 36,000 farms that contribute to a $4.4 billion industry. New York farms are the leading producers of many products that New Yorkers and consumers across the country enjoy every day including milk, cheese, apples, grapes, wine, and maple syrup.
The "Let NY Farm Act" would:
- Provide written or electronic notice to all landowners with land being proposed for inclusion in an agricultural district.
- Encourage farms to invest and grow their business by allowing them to treat any credits received through the Investment Tax Credit that are greater than taxes due as an overpayment leading to a refund.
- Exempt wineries from certain annual sales tax reporting requirements. These reporting requirements place a huge burden on a small farmer who has to spend costly time on paperwork instead of focusing their attention on growing and harvesting crops.
- Extend the amount of time farms have to pay corporate filing fees and also would base filing fees and corporate taxes for farms on their net income versus federal gross income. The current system bases fees and taxes on farms' federal gross income and that does not take into account the high expenses a farm incurs to yield their products.
- Exempt some agricultural vehicles from the supplemental registration fee of $25 for those in any of the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation districts. This bill would also reduce the agricultural plate licensing fee, returning it to the 2008 level.
- Reduce the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit fees for agricultural projects.
New York's Agricultural Industry is very important to the well-being of New York, particularly to its Upstate and Long Island communities. In order for the industry to thrive and grow farmers need to be able to focus their time and attention on investing in their business rather than being buried under paperwork and cripples by taxes and fees.
For these reasons, The Business Council supports this legislation.