My Business Council Address Spotlighted Regulatory Relief, Tax Reform, Economic Development And Job Creation To Get NY Working Again
Legislative column from Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua)
September 23, 2011
On Thursday, September 22, I had the privilege of addressing the Business Council of New York State, Inc., during its 2011 Annual Meeting. The Business Council represents the interests of large and small firms throughout the state and is comprised of thousands of New York-based member companies, along with area chambers of commerce. The meeting is one of the most anticipated pro-business, pro-private sector events attended by Fortune 500 companies, as well as state and national leaders in the fields of business, economics, government and public policy. OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE MY PRIVATE SECTOR EXPERIENCE AND OUTLINE POLICIES THAT WILL MAKE NY WORK AGAIN My years of extensive private sector experience in developing and operating profitable manufacturing businesses provides me a unique perspective into the challenges and opportunities facing job creators operating in New York State. Being able to communicate that perspective – while outlining specific public policies that will grow the private sector while shrinking the size, cost and reach of state government – was a welcome opportunity! The following issue highlights formed the core of the big-picture policy agenda I outlined during my remarks to the Business Council: MAKING A DIFFERENCE: AREAS WHERE I HAVE MADE AN IMPACT • Stopped the state’s costly license plate mandate; • Blocked an extension of the job-killing “Success Tax,” a.k.a. the “Millionaire’s Tax”; • Fought billions in new (and hidden) taxes, fees, surcharges and borrowing; • Enacted the property tax cap and sponsored the most comprehensive unfunded mandate relief bill ever introduced in the state Legislature to give local governments and school districts real relief from Albany’s cost drivers; • Pushed for a state spending cap – If a spending cap had been in place, New York State would have saved approximately $30 billion over the last 10 years; • Sounded the alarm – the first, and only, Legislative Conference to do so – on the slowing national economy and New York’s growing fiscal crisis; and • Held State Agencies accountable and exposed their job-killing regulatory excesses. REGULATORY RELIEF: CUT RED TAPE, GET GOVERNMENT OUT OF THE WAY • Require State Agencies to provide policymakers and taxpayers a complete listing of fines, fees and surcharges to see where they go and how they are spent; • Repeal the Wage Theft Prevention Act (requires all employee communications be in the “primary language” of an employee and significantly increases the potential for litigation by employees against employers); • Repeal the Diesel Emission Reduction Act of 2006 (requires all heavy duty vehicles owned by the state to use low-sulfur diesel fuel and be retrofitted with technologies); • Repeal the Health Care Reform Act Surcharge (requires payors and providers to pay surcharge and assessments on bills for certain inpatient and outpatient services); • Reform the State Environmental Quality Review Act (requires an approving governmental body to identify and mitigate significant environmental impacts of an activity it is permitting); and • Prevent the State Department of Environmental Conservation from double-charging businesses the Hazardous Waste Program Fee. TAX REFORM: MAKE NY’S TAX CODE SIMPLER, FLATTER AND FAIRER • Cut the Corporate Franchise Tax, eliminate the S-Corp Tax and Ton Mileage Tax and provide tax cuts for capital investment; • Give job creators tax incentives for each new hire; • Adopt “Biz-Boom” program to eliminate business income taxes for new companies; • Provide tax incentives for manufacturing firms to retain and create jobs; and • Reform New York’s tax code so it is fairer, flatter, simpler for everyone. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND MORE PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS: PUT UNEMPLOYED NEW YORKERS BACK TO WORK • Rescind the $95 million Unemployment Insurance Interest Assessment Surcharge; • Redirect $50 million in state economic development funding so hurricane-impacted localities, businesses and farms can repair, rebuild and recover; • Free-up Hurricane Irene redevelopment from state rules, regulations and red tape; and • Implement “design-build” in disaster areas to fast-track infrastructure reconstruction. A STRONG VOICE FOR NY’S JOB CREATORS My remarks to the Business Council concluded with a commitment that I would continue to be outspoken on all of these issues this fall, and throughout the upcoming 2012 Legislative Session. I promised to continue serving as a strong voice for job creators and New York’s business community as we continue our efforts to get the economy moving – and New York working – again. As always, constituents wishing to discuss this topic or any other state-related matter should contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.