PLATTSBURGH — A proposal from the governor to eliminate the state corporate tax in Upstate New York is bringing a smile to the faces of local officials.
"One of the biggest challenges New York faces is that business taxes are higher than just about anywhere in the country, and that retards growth of business," City of Plattsburgh Mayor James Calnon said Monday.
"If we can encourage businesses to come here or stay here, that will certainly help with our employment base and our population base."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan would reduce the state corporate tax rate from 7.1 to 6.5 percent and eliminate it for manufacturers located Upstate.
He will outline it in detail in Wednesday's State of the State address from Albany.
"The reduction of the state's corporate tax rate to a level not seen since 1968 is another welcome step in the right direction," Garry Douglas, president of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement.
"But even more remarkable is the proposed elimination of state corporate taxes on all Upstate manufacturers. That means a rate of zero. This will not only support the future of our existing manufacturing base, always struggling to remain globally competitive, but will provide a powerful economic-development marketing tool."
Douglas, part of a group of business leaders from around the state who met with Cuomo on Monday to discuss the plan, said it would be especially helpful in attracting businesses from Quebec and Ontario.
It would also be advantageous in competing with Vermont, he said, as the Green Mountain state has a tax rate of 8.5 percent for manufacturers.
"Who would have thought just three years ago that New York's fiscal house would be sufficiently in order that we could begin further reductions in our tax rates, but that time is at hand," Douglas said.