Some 350 representatives of small business heard Governor Pataki and key legislators affirm their commitment to tax cuts and other policies that would improve the state's business climate. Governor Pataki, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, and Assemblyman Robin Schimminger addressed participants in Small Business Day March 30 in Albany. The Business Council sponsors the event each year with the National Federation of Independent Business. Senator Bruno reaffirmed his commitment to business tax cuts-and urged business to be vocal in supporting them."You are a force where you live and where you work," he said. "Make sure your legislators know what your priorities are-and that your priorities should be their priorities."Governor Pataki noted that New York has led the nation in tax cuts for three years, with 1996 cuts surpassing combined cuts in all other states. These cuts returned over $6 billion to taxpayers. "All of this is great news," he said. "But we must do more."He announced his support for cutting the state's alternative minimum tax from 3.5 to 2.5 percent. The Council has urged lawmakers to enact such a cut, which is part of Senator Bruno's tax cut proposal. Assemblyman Schimminger, a longtime economic development advocate, said improving the job creation climate is "the paramount issue" in New York. Citing taxes, workers' comp, energy costs, unemployment insurance, and regulatory burdens, he said, "These affect not only the costs of doing business but the costs of doing everything." "It's not government that creates the jobs," he added. "It's companies. 'Company' is not a dirty word."
Roger Hannay, president of Hannay Reels in Westerlo, was honored as Small Business Advocate of the Year.