The 2012-13 state budget represents a big leap forward for state government. For the second year in a row, we passed an on-time, fiscally responsible state budget. Our negotiations were productive and bipartisan, and I am confident this year’s budget will deliver real relief for hardworking Western New York families.
Together, we closed the state’s $3.5 billion budget deficit without any new taxes or fees. On top of that, millions of dollars were appropriated to programs that will help our state perform better in education, grow the economy and provide financial relief right here in our community.
Included in the budget is legislation I authored establishing the Western New York Power Proceeds Allocation Board. Its responsibility will be to distribute all excess funds generated by area power plants to businesses within a 30-mile radius, fully implementing the Western New York Economic Development Benefits Fund, which was created through a measure I authored in 2010 (Ch. 436 of 2010). Instead of just adding to the coffers in Albany, this money will now stay where it belongs – generating growth for businesses in Western New York.
In addition, funding was included for the New York Works Program, which will be a major contributor to restarting the economy across the state. The funding for this program will help small businesses grow and get New Yorkers back to work. For too long, the system regulating and connecting small businesses with available state and federal incentive programs has fallen short, so we created a one-stop "Business Express" and "Incentive Finder" to cut through the bureaucratic red tape. Other initiatives will improve access to capital for small businesses, helping them develop in our area and create new jobs for our families.
The New York Works Program also contains tax incentives to get unemployed New Yorkers back to work. Qualifying small businesses can receive a "Jobs Now" tax credit of up to $3,000 for hiring new workers who have been unemployed for at least 60 days. Changes to the Excelsior Tax Credit Program as a part of New York Works include:
- a tax credit equal to 100 percent of the income tax revenue New York State will collect from qualifying businesses on their new employees for 10 years;
- reworking property tax credits to reflect the value of the property after the business has made its investment, not before any value has been added; and
- payouts of tax credits based on interim milestones, rather than paying nothing until the final milestone is met.
By funding these vital initiatives, we are making our region a better place to do business. The New York Works Program will grow our local economy and attract new companies to our communities, bringing with them more good-paying jobs for our hardworking families. I will continue fighting to make Western New York a great place to live, work and raise a family.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns on this or any other important community issue, don’t hesitate to contact my office at 686-0080 or email me at email@example.com.