Tax Foundation’s 2012 State Business Tax Climate Index Puts New York At The Bottom Of The Barrel
Legislative column from Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua)
January 27, 2012
The Tax Foundation recently issued its 2012 State Business Tax Climate Index and it’s nothing but bad news for the over 700,000 unemployed New Yorkers. Once a world-class symbol of business success and reverently called the ‘Empire State,’ New York’s business tax climate now ranks 49th out of 50. I was recently quoted in the New York Post as saying, “our tax rate is too freakin’ high,” and I’ll repeat it again to you - our tax rate is too freakin’ high! We need to jump-start our economy and bring private sector jobs back to communities across the state. THE FACTS IN BLACK AND WHITE The State Business Tax Climate Index indicates which states’ tax systems are the most hospitable to business and economic growth, and enables business leaders, government policymakers and taxpayers to gauge how their states’ tax systems compare. According to the Index, New York ranks at the bottom of the barrel for businesses, workers and homeowners. The ‘Empire State’ is ranked 49th when it comes to Individual Income Taxes, 46th in Unemployment Insurance Taxes and 45th in Property Taxes. Certainly, our tax law needs a tough going over. Bottom line: the shocking statistics found in the Tax Foundation’s report should serve as a rallying cry for lowering taxes. PLAIN COMMON SENSE FROM THE TAX FOUNDATION The Index is full of common sense, the type of wisdom I have heard spoken around the kitchen tables and at the diners in Finger Lakes communities for years, stating “Job creators locate their businesses in areas where they have the greatest competitive advantage. States’ stiffest and most direct competition often comes from other states. Most mass job relocations are from one U.S. state to another, rather than to an overseas location.” After the folks at the Tax Foundation compiled all their research, they came to this all-too-obvious conclusion: States with the best tax systems will be the most competitive in attracting new businesses and most effective at generating economic and employment growth. MEMO FROM JOB CREATORS TO ALBANY BUREAUCRATS: TAXES MATTER! Taxes DO matter to businesses. How many times have you opened the business section of your local newspaper and seen yet another story of a New York state company forced to cut jobs or move its operations out of state? However, there is good news. The Index states the positive results that come from cutting taxes - a state with lower tax costs will be more attractive to business investment and more likely to experience economic growth. Our economic development gurus should be shouting this from the mountaintops! The Tax Foundation’s conclusions really hit the nail on the head. It’s time for a change in New York’s tax and spend culture. We need to take a closer look at how every dollar is spent, what it is spent on and see if there is a way to deliver better customer service at a lower cost. This is what the private sector already does and this is what New York’s public sector needs to start doing. LET’S HIT THE GROUND RUNNING AND PUT NEW YORK STATE BACK ON TOP I have led the fight in Albany to create an environment of lower taxes, fewer regulations and greater economic certainty, so job creators can invest with confidence. The path to private sector job creation involves lowering taxes and putting the brakes on the endless rules, regulations and requirements Albany imposes on the private sector so job creators spend less time worrying about paying for government and spend more time growing their businesses. New York should once again be an attractive location for Fortune 500 companies, small businesses and entrepreneurs to invest in and expand their operations. Based on my 25 years of proven private sector experience, I know the ‘Empire State’ can return to its rightful place as a national leader for economic growth and a private sector economy that is the envy of the 49 other states. MARK YOUR CALENDARS: MY ONTARIO COUNTY TOWN HALL MEETINGS ARE SLATED FOR SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4 I look forward to hearing your opinions on the Tax Foundation’s report. Here are the times and locations for my Saturday, February 4th Ontario County Town Hall meetings:
- 10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. at the Gorham Town Hall, 4736 South Street, Gorham;
- 10:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. at the Geneva Town Hall, 3750 County Road 6, Geneva;
- 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the Manchester Town Hall, 1272 County Road 7, Clifton Springs; and
- 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Canandaigua Town Hall, 5440 Routes 5 & 20 West, Canandaigua.