I was pleased to co-sponsor legislation that aims to draw more businesses to Central New York. In March, the Assembly unanimously passed legislation that will expand the Foreign Trade Zone. The Senate also passed this bill and it awaits the Governorís review. The legislation would expand the Foreign Trade Zone, established at Syracuse Hancock International Airport, to include Oswego, Cayuga and Madison counties.
This legislation aims to incentivize international trade and create jobs and investment here, rather than abroad. In certain cases, there are tariffs (tax on imports or exports) that penalize companies for making their product in the United States. Foreign Trade Zones aim to eliminate some of these tariffs and provide advantages to domestic manufacturers.
I am hopeful the Governor signs this legislation into law. It would broaden possibilities for more manufacturers to locate to our area and strengthen our region as we seek to add jobs to the local economy. When companies consider sites to expand or relocate, they have to consider the cost of everything, not the least of which are taxes. A Foreign Trade Zone would provide our region with an advantage. Expanding such zones would be an asset to our region moving forward in our global economy.
I wanted to point out another part of the budget that recently passed the State Legislature and has been signed by the Governor. This budget created the NY Works program, which invests $247 million in state capital funds and $917 million in new federal funds to accelerate repair, replacement and improvement of our roads and bridges. Last week, it was announced that Central New York would see a nearly $30 million investment for 25 NY Works projects. This is good news for our region, and I am pleased we were able to invest in our infrastructure this budget season.
Scam Targeting Homeowners
The New York Attorney Generalís office is warning homeowners of a scam. New York homeowners should be aware of phone calls from people posing as bank or government officials to get personal information through bogus offers of help with their mortgages, the State Attorney General's office announced. Never pay an up-front fee for mortgage-related services. It is a violation of New York law to charge upfront fees for such services, and violations should be reported to the Attorney Generalís office at 1-800-771-7755. You also should not provide personal information such as social security numbers and loan information. Your bank already would have this information.
Sales Tax exemption on clothing
I wanted to remind you that effective April 1, items of clothing and footwear sold for less than $110 will be exempt from the state's 4% sales and use tax. We all will get a break on these purchases for a while. According to the State Tax Department's website, this also will apply to most fabric, thread, yarn, buttons, hooks, zippers, and similar items used to create or repair the type of clothing now exempt.
If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office. My office can be reached by mail at 200 North Second Street, Fulton, New York 13069, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (315) 598-5185. You also may find me, Assemblyman Barclay, on Facebook.