Legislation aims to make it ‘easier’ on small businesses in NY

The State Senate approved a comprehensive “Jobs and Opportunity Agenda” that includes legislation sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats) aimed at reducing New York State’s high tax burden on farmers and small businesses.

“Governor Cuomo began his tenure back in 2011 by stating that New York State cannot survive as the tax capital of America. I agreed one-hundred percent but eight years down the road, we still have not done enough to get our residents and businesses out from under one of the nation’s heaviest tax burdens. The Senate Republican Majority’s focus will remain on making this state more affordable and that begins with lower taxes,” O’Mara said.

Today’s Senate action includes the approval of legislation (S2120) O’Mara sponsors to provide significant new tax savings for small businesses and small farms by expanding the existing Personal Income Tax exemption and reducing the Corporate Franchise Tax business income tax rate from 6.5 percent to 2.5 percent over a two-year period.

O’Mara said, “Studies continue to highlight New York as the state with the highest tax burden in the nation and, in particular, one that remains a dark cloud over every other effort to improve our business climate. High taxes remain an unfair and unreasonable burden on individual taxpayers, families, farmers, employers and workers. Even with the tax cuts we have successfully achieved over the past several years, we have to keep taking tax relief actions like this for our small business owners and farmers to ensure that they can stay in business and keep creating the jobs that our communities depend on.”

Among many provisions, the Jobs and Opportunity Agenda includes legislation to:

– Allow real property owned by a small business (100 or less employees) to be eligible for the STAR property tax savings program;

– Establish the Unfunded Mandate Review Act to protect local governments from unfunded state mandates. Specifically, this legislation requires the state comptroller to conduct a continuing study of unfunded mandates upon any local government, and prepare comparative costs of proposed regulations;

– Promote mandate relief and flexibility in tailoring regulatory requirements to the specific needs and capabilities of local governments;

– Establish a Small Business Liaison within the state bureaucracy to disseminate important regulatory information, listen to concerns and advocate on behalf of businesses within state agencies;

– Prevent “regulatory steamrolling” by curtailing state government’s overutilization of the emergency regulation process to ensure its use only when necessary to protect public health and safety; and

– Direct the state education commissioner to develop guidelines for high school guidance counselors to facilitate student awareness and interest in apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship, and career and technical education opportunities.

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