Small Businesses Swamped By State-Mandated Paperwork

Legislative Column from Assemblyman Mark Johns (R,C-Webster)
May 22, 2012

Small businesses are among the most important employers in our region, accounting for tens of thousands of jobs in Monroe County alone. In fact, 70 percent of new private sector jobs across the nation are in small business. It’s hardly a secret that New York’s tax policies often work against the job creators of our state and enforce wasteful mandates on small business. It’s no wonder that New York is often ranked the least business-friendly state in the nation.

There are literally 49,000 pages worth of regulations, rules and red tape with which businesses in New York State have to contend. To comply with these rules costs businesses valuable time and money. So let’s think about this for a moment, if we remove these business-killing regulations, job creation and economic growth could really take off and flourish in New York.

There are so many areas where New York can lift these burdens and create more jobs, specifically repealing the annual notification requirement and written employee acknowledgement of salaries, wages, hours and various other items as part of the Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA) which was passed by my predecessor. While well-meaning, the law has had unintended consequences, namely costly and more time-consuming paperwork.

The WTPA essentially doubles paperwork, as each business is required to keep every employee’s written acknowledgement on file for six years. This information is already on each employee’s pay stub. This is the exact kind of duplicative government red tape regulations that are slowing our economic recovery.

Here’s an example that one of my Assembly colleagues shared:. A business in his district with about 400 employees explained that it will cost them $2,500 to comply with this requirement. I find this absolutely unacceptable.

What are we doing to businesses in New York State? Let’s get out of the way of small business and let them do what they do best – provide services, goods and jobs to our communities. Let’s see how New York’s economy can grow when Albany steps aside.

Do you want to share a similar story regarding regulations, rules and fees that are hampering your small business? Please share them with me by calling my office at 223-9130 or emailing me at