Reducing New York’s High Costs Of Doing Business Demands A Holistic Approach
Legislative column from Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua)
July 31, 2009
Since becoming Assembly Minority Leader, I have publicly and repeatedly called for the enactment of a statewide economic development and job creation plan. Currently, there is no formal plan in place at the Empire State Development Corporation, New York’s lead economic development agency that is supposed to help businesses and encourage investment. If you own or operate a business in New York, then this revelation and “news” that our state has some of the nation’s highest costs of doing business would hardly qualify as such. In fact, even for non-business owners, this fact is readily apparent, as New York leads the nation in job-killing taxes, fees, government mandates and energy costs. Ask any taxpayer and they can attest to the cumulative, crushing financial burden caused by an avalanche of property taxes, Thruway tolls, SUNY tuition hikes, and billions in new and increased taxes and fees contained within the 2009-10 State Budget. As bad as those challenges are for individual taxpayers, the financial and regulatory obstacle course state government forces businesses to navigate is far worse. Countless studies have repeatedly confirmed that New York ranks as one of the most expensive, least competitive places in all of America to run a business. The following is a sampling of those findings as compiled by the Public Policy Institute of New York State, Inc. They are available on-line at www.ppinys.org/reports/JustTheFacts.html.
- For 2009, New York is already ranked dead last among the 50 states in economic outlook, according to the American Legislative Exchange Council. We slipped seven places to 50 after having been ranked 43rd in economic performance;
- Also for 2009, the Tax Foundation ranked our state business tax climate 49th – meaning we have the nation’s second-worst, just ahead of New Jersey;
- Our state has the country’s second-highest cost of doing business – only Hawaii is more expensive, as noted by the Milken Institute in 2007;
- Chief Executive Magazine ranked New York 49th in its 2008 “Best and Worst States” survey of places for jobs and business growth – only California was worse;
- New York had America’s fourth highest residential and commercial electricity prices in 2007, as reported by the Energy Information Administration; and
- When it comes to having “economic freedom” – defined as the regulatory and fiscal obstacles that state governments impose on their citizens – New York was, again, ranked dead last by the Pacific Research Institute.